Released on tour in March 2011, Kevin Smith invited the WBC and specifically Megan Phelps-Roper over Twitter to attend the Kansas City screening and Q&A. Megan and around 15 other members of WBC attended the screening and some brought their young children along. Smith warned the family that the film's content was for a mature audience and not suitable for children, but was promptly told off by the church members. Less than 20 minutes into the screening, the entire WBC audience attending the event walked out, outraged by the film's content. Megan called the film "filth" and "a vulgar piece of tacky melodrama."
After a screening of the film in Kansas City, Kevin Smith interviewed two life long Westboro Baptist Church members (Shirley Phelps niece and son) who had defected a few years prior. They both enjoyed the film and even complimented Smith on how realistic certain aspects of religious fanaticism are depicted.
In the sequence outside the compound when Agent Keenan (John Goodman) yells at Sheriff Wynan (Stephen Root) to go back into his car, Root's subsequent stumble and fall was unscripted. Root admitted that he was genuinely startled by Goodman's performance, and was happy to have Smith keep the footage in the film.
(at around 1h 13 mins) At the end of Cooper's paraphrase of the opening of the seven seals, he throws his arms above his head. He then slowly lowers them- twice. First in an over-the-shoulder shot of actor John Goodman, and again in the next shot, a frontal shot of the good preacher.
The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
Is this based on a true story?
It is not based on an actual story but is inspired but various real life events. The villain is a composite of Fred Phelps, Jim Jones and other leaders of religious cults. The events of the story are also quite similar to the Branch Davidian tragedy in Waco, Texas.
Is this movie connected to other Kevin Smith movies?
No. This movie is a stand alone story. It does not contain (ex: Jay and Silent Bob) any characters or overt references to previous Kevin Smith films.