Director Kevin Smith is amazed at "f***ing ridiculous" reports from American magazine US WEEKLY that marketing for upcoming film Jersey Girl would focus on him - instead of on movie couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.

It had been claimed movie studio Miramax was "going to promote this as a Kevin Smith movie" in a bid to deflect the terrible publicity Ben and Jennifer generated when their movie Gigli became a massive box office disaster. The attendant cancellation of their September (03) wedding also created some negative vibes, which many had speculated would lead to Smith having to distance himself from the pair.

On his website NEWSASKEW.COM, Smith unceremoniously rubbishes the rumours, stating, "Speaking as a guy who's about as close to this movie and the marketing plans as it gets, I can tell you that there's no truth to that story. Market the movie on me? So f***ing ridiculous.

"Trust me: I've seen the marketing concepts on this movie from as early on as when we were still shooting up to just yesterday. Every poster is centred around Affleck. Some show Affleck and Jen, some show Affleck and the kid (which would make the most sense), some show Affleck and Liv Tyler. None show me.

"And as with every flick I've made, this is not billed as 'A Film By Kevin Smith' - the hallmark of any marketing campaign built on the director. 'The Fourth Film by Quentin Tarantino'? That's a director-driven marketing campaign. A standard 'Written and Directed by Kevin Smith'? That's hardly what I'd call selling a flick on the director's back.

"Smells like some editor at Us Magazine was desperate for a Ben and Jen story. That this bogus tidbit fit the bill shows a surprising amount of creativity on their part, but further solidifies their reputation in the print community as little more than a glossy version of the ENQUIRER."

10/10/2003 19:06