Joe Dirt 2 Going Straight to Crackle!

Well, I am actually kinda excited about this! I liked the first movie more than the writer of this article and just watched the trailer of JD2 and actually think it looks pretty funny. Also this is an interesting experiment to see a sequel like this come to internet as it’s primary delivery method.

David Spade in the 2001 film “Joe Dirt.”  (Jon Farmer/Columbia Pictures via Reuters)

There’s nothing essential about the 2001 film “Joe Dirt.” The David Spade vehicle, about a mulleted hick down on his luck, wasn’t terrible. Critics hated it; audiences liked it, sort of. It made a little money at the box office, and had a bit of a second life on cable. Even calling it a cult film, as some have, seems a stretch. This isn’t Sergei Eisenstein.

Yet the sequel to “Joe Dirt” — a preview of which appeared online Tuesday — is punching above its weight. “Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser” will premiere on the Web site Crackle on July 16 billed as the “first made-for-digital sequel to a major motion picture.”

Crackle, the Sony subsidiary that wrangled Spade as well as Christopher Walken and Dennis Miller from the original “Joe Dirt” cast, was excited to plant this unique seed. It is, after all, “a new kind of network for a new kind of viewer.”

“The long-awaited sequel to the Columbia Pictures cult favorite comedy will pick-up where the first film left off, following the comedic misadventures of the mullet-clad, lovable redneck,” the company said in January.

But for writer and star Spade, the union with the Sony-affiliated Crackle — which offers movies, TV shows and original content without a subscription — seemed a bit like a shotgun wedding worthy of Mr. Dirt himself.

“We wrote a sequel, and we may wind up doing it on, because they want to be the first web address to do a sequel to a movie,” Spade wrote in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” interview last year. “Because Sony owns them, and it’s a Sony movie. We’re trying to find a way to make it for the budget, but we really want to do it. And keep it good.”

The move seemed a little desperate.

“The project has been in-development for years, but as we know, that means nothing until the money is on the table,” Cinema Blend reported last year. “So, in the end, money from Crackle is better than no money at all.”

But in the era of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” even big stars are eyeing alternate ways to get product in front of viewers. Spade’s fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Adam Sandler, for example — whose company Happy Madison produced “Joe Dirt” — signed a four-movie deal with Netflix last year. And then there was the time an international crisis forced Sony to release “The Interview” via alternate platforms.

Spade and Kid Rock in “Joe Dirt.” (Jon Farmer/Columbia Pictures via Reuters)

[“The Interview” earns just $2 million at the box office — but kills it online]

Thus, “Joe Dirt 2″ becomes a test case of sorts. Crackle already planted its flag in the sand of digital distribution with the lauded Jerry Seinfeld series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which it distributed. Can it similarly make it rain for feature length films?

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