Monday morning brought the official announcement of writer/director Kevin Smith’s long-awaited threequel to the popular Clerks film series. Originally reported from Deadline, “Lionsgate has acquired worldwide rights to Kevin Smith’s Clerks III, which is in pre-production in New Jersey and will begin production next month.” Written and directed by Smith, the film is set to star all major cast members from the previous films including Brian O’Halloran (Dante), Jeff Anderson (Randal), Trevor Fehrman (Elias), Rosario Dawson (Becky), Marilyn Ghigliotti (Veronica), Jennifer Schwalbach (Emma), Jason Mewes (Jay), and Smith himself as Silent Bob.
Smith took to Instagram Monday to spread the good news, stating: “My birthday is August 2. And @lionsgate just gave me the best gift I could ever ask for: the money to make another sequel to my debut film! Dante! Randal! Jay! Silent Bob! Becky! Elias! Veronica! Emma! The characters from both Clerks and Clerks II return with me to the scene of the crime at the little store that started it all: Leonardo’s legendary @quickstopgroceries!” According to Smith, the film’s story will follow Randal surviving a near-fatal heart attack, prompting his desire to make a film based on his life working at infamous “block of stores”. The film’s plot alludes to major events in Smith’s own life, including the making of the original Clerks and Smith’s 2018 Widow-Maker heart attack. Post heart attack, Smith decided to reopen his old toy box with 2019’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and has also penned a draft for a sequel to his 1995 cult-classic, Mallrats.
Clerks III has been in different stages of development since the early 2010s and came close to production in 2014 before Anderson elected to not participate. According to Smith, his earlier version of Clerks III followed a completely different story “about death”. While story details of this earlier version have been kept under wraps, the original script had two public readings for charity in 2019. With everyone back on board for this new version, it should be safe to say this story will resonate with View Askew fans old and new.