Kevin Smith was originally highly reluctant to do a Jay and Silent Bob solo film, believing that the characters couldn't carry a film. Positive reaction to Jay and Silent Bob's cameo in Scream 3 (2000) changed his mind.
This is the fifth film in Kevin Smith's intricately interconnected View Askewniverse series (the first four being Clerks (1994), Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997), and Dogma (1999)). The movies are all linked by characters, themes, and events, and each contains numerous references to the others. The sixth part of the series is Clerks II (2006).
At one point, Seth Green was considered to play "Jay" in the movie-within-a-movie which Jay and Bob are trying to stop. This is an inside joke. Gramercy Pictures didn't want Jason Mewes to reprise his role as Jay in Mallrats (1995), and, up until the first day of shooting, tried to replace him with Green.
Kevin Smith's fan base is so loyal that during the theatrical run of Scary Movie 2 (2001), many people bought tickets for the film, simply to see the trailer for this film. After the trailer ran, many moviegoers left the theater.
The name of one of Jay and Silent Bob's online critic, "Magnolia-Fan", was inspired by a feud on the View Askew website's message board. After Kevin Smith posted a strongly negative review of Magnolia (1999), fans of Paul Thomas Anderson swarmed the board and criticized Smith.
Originally, Kevin Smith wanted Quentin Tarantino to appear in the film as himself as the director of "Bluntman and Chronic Strike Back" in one of the earlier drafts of the script. Then-current Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein was to appear as himself too.
On his podcast "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old", Kevin Smith went on at length about how much of a headache this movie was, mostly owing to Jason Mewes' drug and alcohol abuse turning him into a "ticking time bomb" which threatened to shut the project down at any moment. During pre-production, Mewes would have constant mood swings due to heroin withdrawal, to the point that Smith actually threw him out of his car on their way to the set one day. Mewes would compensate for his lack of drugs by drinking heavily after every day of shooting and nearly got into a fist fight with Scott Mosier when he had to come back one night for a re-shoot while drunk (Mewes later said that he was too intoxicated to remember anything that happened during production). When the shoot wrapped, Smith told Mewes point-blank to get sober or he'd never speak to him again. This is partially why he eventually decided to do Jay and Silent Bob Get a Reboot (2018), because he wanted to have better memories working with Mewes than he did on this film.
Salma Hayek was originally going to reprise her role as Serendipity the muse from Dogma (1999), working on the Miramax lot. However, due to scheduling conflicts, she had to drop out. There is a painting of her at the start of the Scream 3 (2000) spoof instead.
Kevin Smith originally wanted Matthew Lillard and Freddie Prinze, Jr. to be the stars of the fictitious Bluntman and Chronic movie, because, at that point, they had starred in several Miramax films together. Lillard and Prinze passed on the project, choosing to do Scooby-Doo (2002) instead.
According to Kevin Smith, the film was intended as a controversy-free comedy in response to his previous film, the controversy-plagued Dogma (1999). He did not succeed, having raised the ire of gay rights activists over its gay jokes. Smith, in his DVD commentary, denies that his humor was intended as insulting.
The fictitious website "Movie Poop Shoot" is a major plot point. Movie Poop Shoot existed as an actual website before the film's release. A parody of film websites, the site contained inflammatory posts toward "Bluntman and Chronic Strike Back" which were later read in the movie (including the immortal "Fuck Jay and Silent Bob, fuck them up their stupid asses"). The thread ends with Jay's "You are the ones who are the ball-lickers." The false site also served as the home of the internet-only trailers for the film. Movie Poop Shoot has recently been converted into a bona fide website, containing news and columns about movies, comic books, and music.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Kevin Smith): (37): When the jewel thieves talk about their heist, they have a banner that it's their thirty-seventh heist. The scene of "Bluntman and Chronic", in which Jay and Bob end up, is introduced as "Scene 37, take 1". Justice's prison number is 373737.
In an effort to drive up the box-office gross for his film, Kevin Smith gave away autographed mini-posters to all fans that sent in ticket stubs, indicating they went to see it on August 24, or 25, 2001.
Tracy Morgan's drug dealer character was originally unnamed. Morgan came up with the character's name, "Pumpkin Escobar", the day they filmed the scene. Morgan also came up with the idea of Escobar's sidekick Scott, reasoning that if his character was the West Coast Jay, he should have a West Coast Silent Bob.
Mark Hamill plays Bluntman and Chronic's villain, Cocknocker. Bluntman and Chronic is a reference to Batman and Robin, especially when Cocknocker calls Bluntman, Hemp Knight (a play on Dark Knight). Mark Hamill provided the voice of Batman's villain The Joker in the animated television series.
Kevin Smith originally wanted Howard Shore to compose the score, as they had a good time working together on the score for Dogma (1999). Shore, however, was committed to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and was unavailable. Producer Scott Mosier then suggested James L. Venable to be the composer because of his work on Clerks (2000), and they wanted the film to be "a big cartoon of a movie".
The phrase "Fuck Jay and Silent Bob. Fuck them up their stupid asses" became so popular, that it was used in just about every talkback on Ain't It Cool News (Such as "Fuck 'Osama bin Laden'. Fuck him up his stupid ass.")
Jay's and Pumpkin Escobar's dealer union cards are signed by Kevin Smith as President, and Jason Mewes as Secretary of the International Fellowship of Marijuana Distributors, Crack-Cocaine Wholesaler, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada.
The canyon setting for the diner scene, is the same location used for the filming of many episodes of Star Trek (1966), most notably season one, episode eighteen, "Arena", where Kirk fights the Gorn, the giant green lizard. As a further homage to that episode, the diner in the scene has a sign over the door which identifies it as "The Arena Diner". The location, Vasquez Rocks, has been used as a setting for many scenes in movies and television shows.
In the sequence where Jay is imagining a world where super evolved monkeys annihilate the human race, there is a line that says: "In this world gone mad we won't spank the monkey, the monkey will spank us". This is a reference to the popular "In Soviet Russia" joke, popularized by Yakov Smirnoff, where a statement is reversed. As Jay says this, the movie shows Randal (from Clerks (1994)) getting shot by monkeys while wearing a CCCP (Soviet Union) hockey jersey.
Brodie's comic book store, "Brodie's Secret Stash", is a slightly altered version of Kevin Smith's real-life comic book store, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash. The store featured in the film was a location in California that closed in the mid 2000s.
When Jay and Silent Bob are running from the guards on the Miramax lot, they knock over a man in a Daredevil costume. Kevin Smith was a writer on "Daredevil" for Marvel Comics, and later even appeared in Daredevil (2003).
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Kevin Smith): (hockey): Randal is wearing a replica Russian hockey jersey. In every View Askewniverse film, there is at least one hockey reference, or someone is wearing a hockey jersey.
Bob Schreck makes a cameo as an assistant to Gus Van Sant on the set of Good Will Hunting II: Hunting Season. Schreck worked with Kevin Smith as Editor on Kevin's Green Arrow run, and as co-Publisher of his Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Comics at Oni Press.
Although Randal and Dante are not the last characters featured in the film, they were the last two characters filmed when production wrapped. Kevin Smith felt at the time of this movie's production, he should end the series with the two characters that started it. Smith had since reopened the saga of the Askewniverse, with Clerks II (2006).
Will Ferrell's character Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly is a nod to the television series Land of the Lost (1974), where the three main characters were named Marshall, Will, and Holly. Ferrell starred in Land of the Lost (2009).
The high amount of profanity caused some challenges for those hired to translate the film into other languages. In the DVD release, the word "merde" (which means "shit") is substituted for "fuck" in the French language soundtrack.
Holden's summarization of Silent Bob's feelings towards Jay were improvised by Ben Affleck on-set. Silent Bob's nodding was Kevin Smith's genuine reaction, and approval for a possible thought tracking for Bob from Ben.
David Duchovny originally called Kevin Smith, and told him that he wanted the role of "Cocknocker". Smith gave him the role, but unfortunately when it was time to start shooting, Duchovny was already filming Evolution (2001), and could not make it. Mark Hamill was then brought in as his replacement.
On the Hollywood lot, right after Jay and Silent Bob escape the security guard, they poke their heads around a truck, and the first thing visible is what appears to be Mr. Pink, Mr. Blonde, Mr. White, and a bloody Mr. Orange, the cop from Reservoir Dogs (1992).
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Kevin Smith): (off-screen grab): Instead of an off-screen grab, during the scene where they are filming the Good Will Hunting II: Hunting Season spoof, Jay and Silent Bob walk off-screen, and are then pushed back on.
In his own words in An Evening with Kevin Smith (2002), "Bad Medicine" by Bon Jovi was not the first choice for Justice's intro. Kevin Smith wanted to use "Most Beautiful Girl" by Prince. Prince declined but allowed the music by Morris Day and The Time to be used.
When Jay and Silent Bob enter the Good Will Hunting II: Hunting Season movie set, the girl standing in front of Jay is wearing a cardigan sweater, which is identical to the one worn by Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski in The Big Lebowski (1998).
In The Fugitive (1993), when U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard shows his badge to local authorities, he rips the protective cover off from his left chest area on his jacket, (occuring twenty one minutes into the film), which is exactly what Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly does when asked by local authorities who he is, (it occuring forty two minutes into the film).
The Bluntcave set design was inspired by the Batcave from Batman (1966). Design elements include the Atomic Pile, and all the consoles and racks with extremely oversized signs indicating function or the item.
Kevin Smith: [comic books] Names of the security guards at Miramax are all references to comic book characters, including Gordon (James Gordon, Gotham City Police Commissioner), Shaw (Sebastian and Shinobi Shaw, members of the Hellfire club), and Akins (another Gotham City Commissioner).
At the end of the movie, characters are seen coming out of the El Rey after having seen "Bluntman and Chronic", and Jay invites them to the concert across the street. In fact, the El Rey in Los Angeles is a concert venue, not a movie theater, and the performance by Morris Day & The Time was filmed in the El Rey.
As the characters exit the El Rey theater at the end of the movie, the poster for "Bussing", a movie for which Kevin Smith has scripted, but as of yet not made, can be seen behind Justice and Willenholly just before the camera whip pans to Jay.