Last week, we learned that Kevin Smith was breathing new life into Clerks 3 just a few years after the project was abandoned because one of the film’s co-stars simply didn’t feel compelled to participate. However, rather than dusting off the old draft of the script that almost went into production, Kevin Smith is writing an entirely new screenplay, and this one will take some cues from the real life heart attack that the filmmaker suffered last year. But just because everything has been making Kevin Smith cry lately, don’t go thinking Clerks 3 will be some kind of over-emotional tearjerker.
The Wrap got some Clerks 3 story details from Kevin Smith while he was making the rounds promoting the upcoming Fathom Events release of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot on October 15 and October 17. And as we predicted when the story first broke, the trilogy capper will bring some of Smith’s personal experience following his heart attack into the lives of Dante Brian O’Halloran and Randal Jeff Anderson. Plus, it’ll get meta and nostalgic in a whole new way. Here’s what Smith said:
“Randal has a heart attack, decides that he came so close to death, and his life has meant nothing, there’s nobody to memorialize him, he has no family or anything like that. And in the recovery, while under fentanyl, he comes to the conclusion at mid-life, having almost died, having worked in a movie store his whole life and watched other people’s movies, he tells Dante, I think we need to make a movie. So Dante and Randal make ‘Clerks.’ That’s the story of ‘Clerks 3.'”
There’s part of me that wonders if Smith specifically mentioned that Randal is under fentanyl, a strong opioid pain reliever, as a possible hint that Randal and Dante won’t really make Clerks, but it’ll be something that happens in Randal’s head while recovering in the hospital. But that won’t stop Smith from reliving the fun he had shooting Clerks over 25 years ago. The movie will go back to some of Smith’s favorite moments from making his breakout indie hit. Smith continued:
“I’m going to bring my boys right back to where they brought me. I’m writing it, it writes itself because I f—ing lived it 25 years ago. It’s just warm and f—ing wonderful. They’re figuring it out the same way I figured it out, but I have the benefit of being able to cherry pick all my favorite stories and moments of making ‘Clerks’ and putting it right back into their hands.”
When Smith says this will put Clerks into the hands of Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson, he means it literally. The two will be shooting real black and white footage during the making ofClerks 3, which we presume will be in color like Clerks II. But we’ll likely get to see some of the takes they shoot in black and white.
For those wondering how this differs from the previous draft of Clerks 3, somehow it’s actually less gloomy and emotional. Smith actually wrote a much darker draft about middle-age life and pondering death before he even had a heart attack. The filmmaker explains:
“That was a movie that was written by a guy who was obsessed with middle-aged and dying, and it was all about death. And that was before I almost died. Then I almost died, and now I don’t really want to talk about that s—. I’ve been too close. Now I just want to do life affirming things. The tone is going to shift completely. I owe those guys, those characters, Dante and Randal, a lot more than the kind of doom and gloom I was about to put them through. I loved that script, and I loved reading it, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the house for the last 15 pages.”
Smith is talking about when Clerks 3 was given a live read on stage in front of a small audience for charity back in August. He says performing that script made him realize that this wasn’t right for a return to his roots. Smith said, “You would’ve seen the old ‘Clerks 3’ and been like, did the guy who made ‘Clerks’ forget that ‘Clerks’ was a comedy?”
So if all goes well, now we’ll get a Clerks 3 that is more like a comedy and won’t depress the hell out of you. The concept feels a little self-indulgent, and it seems to follow in the footsteps of an indie movie that had the support of Smith. Christopher Downie wrote and directed a movie called Shooting Clerks that told the story of Kevin Smith making Clerks, and it even featured a cameo from the man himself. Hopefully the guy gets some kind of credit for helping inspire this trip down memory lane.
Kevin Smith is making the rounds to promote Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, his latest film as well as his latest roundelay with the characters played by Jason Mewes and himself. As he’s wont to do, he’s telling stories — including a chilling one about one of the people who made his career: Harvey Weinstein, the former head of Miramax, which distributed Smith’s debut, Clerks, and who has spent the last two years being repeatedly accused of sexual harassment and assault.
Kevin Smith was speaking to Business Insider when he revealed that the disgraced Hollywood producer contacted him a mere week before The New York Times broke the first wave of accusations. The two reportedly hadn’t spoken since Smith’s 2008 comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which had been made by The Weinstein Company and which failed at the box office. So he was a little surprised when Weinstein suddenly floated the idea of a sequel to Dogma.
“I said, ‘Hey, how are you?’ And he goes, ‘You know, we have Dogma, I just realized, and we got to get it out there again,'” Smith told Business Insider, referring to his star-studded 1999 comedy-fantasy, which found him exploring his religious side in his usual cheerfully crass-yet-thoughtful style.
“I said, ‘We do! People online are always asking where they can get it,'” Smith recalled. “And he then goes, ‘You know, that movie had a big cast, we might even be able to do a sequel.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah man, right on. I might think about that.’ And he was like, ‘We’ll talk.’ And a week later The New York Times story breaks. I felt sick to my stomach.”
Weinstein’s team said they weren’t sure if the call ever happened, though Smith also says that, after reading the Times story, he learned that at least one other person in the industry had received a similar call.
Smith has a theory about why Weinstein phoned him up so soon before the scandal broke. “He was starting to circle the wagons,” Smith said. “It was him looking to see who was a friend still because his life was about to shift completely.”
The filmmaker also pointed that he’d defended Weinstein previously, when Peter Biskind’s 2004 indie exposé Down and Dirty Pictures portrayed he and his brother Bob as bullies who intimidated their way to box office and awards glory. “ I wrote a piece in Variety on how he’s still got the edge when people would go after him like, ‘Harvey’s lost his touch,’” Smith pointed out.
Weinstein is currently awaiting a January 2020 trial for charges of rape, predatory sexual assault, and criminal sex act based on two separate allegations. He’s plead not guilty to all charges.
Smith’s latest film, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, hits theaters on October 15.
On the October 1, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film weekend editor Brad Oman and writer Chris Evangelista to talk about the latest film and tv news, including a DMZ tv series, a Quentin Tarantino novel, Clerks 3, JJ Abrams defending Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Stranger Things 4.
>In The News: Chris: Quentin Tarantino is Writing a Novel About a World War II Vet Who Learns to Love Foreign Movies Brad: Kevin Smith Assures Us ‘Clerks 3’ Is Back In Business with a Whole New Script Chris: J.J. Abrams Defends Bringing Palpatine Back For ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Brad: Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Series Has Found the Director It’s Looking For With Deborah Chow Chris: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Teaser Reveals We’re Not In Hawkins Anymore Brad: Ava DuVernay Turning DC’s ‘DMZ’ Comic Book into a Series for HBO Max Jacob: ‘Black Widow’ Set Photos Reveal the Return of William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross
All the other stuff you need to know:
You can find more about all the stories we mentioned on today’s show at slashfilm.com, and linked inside the show notes. /Film Daily is published every weekday, bringing you the most exciting news from the world of movies and television as well as deeper dives into the great features from slashfilm.com. You can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the popular podcast apps RSS. Send your feedback, questions, comments and concerns to us at [email protected] Please leave your name and general geographic location in case we mention the e-mail on the air. Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes, tell your friends and spread the word!
With the upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, it seemed like Kevin Smith was saying goodbye to all of the characters who have populated the cinematic world known as the View Askewniverse. Over the years, Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks II have featured interconnected stories and references to characters in the other movies, and the upcoming sequel will bring back nearly everyone who ever had a significant role in a Kevin Smith movie, including Ben Affleck. But apparently that won’t be the end of the View Askewniverse after all.
Kevin Smith is out on the publicity tour for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot right now, and while making an appearance to sign some stuff for auction, the director revealed that he was reunited with Clerks co-star Jeff Anderson after the two had a bit of a falling out sometime after Clerks II. The reunion turned to a discussion about finally getting Clerks 3 off the ground, but it’ll have a whole new script after the first attempt to make the sequel didn’t pan out.
The announcement of Clerks 3 reopening for business came from Kevin Smith himself on Instagram with this photo:
Accompanying the photo was this caption, explaining how the resurgence of Clerks 3 came to be:
“I spent Saturday signing stuff and catching up, seeing so much movie merch that’s been made over the last 25 years! But even better than that? We talked about making a movie together. It’ll be a movie that concludes a saga. It’ll be a movie about how you’re never too old to completely change your life. It’ll be a movie about how a decades-spanning friendship finally confronts the future. It’ll be a movie that brings us back to the beginning – a return to the cradle of civilization in the great state of #newjersey. It’ll be a movie that stars Jeff and Brian O’Halloran, with me and Jay in supporting roles. And it’ll be a movie called CLERKS III! To be great is to go on. To go on is to go far. To go far is to return. And we’re all gonna return to the scene of the crime! This won’t be the old script we almost made a few years back: this is a completely new screenplay that I just started writing last night! And so far, it’s like a dream come true!
After mending fences with Ben Affleck earlier this year, I was hoping for a chance to do the same with Jeff – so huge thanks to Leeloo Multiprops for getting us all in the same room. But the biggest thanks ever go to Jeff, for being receptive to the idea at all. This means I’m gonna get to play with my two favorite inaction figures again: Dante & Randal! Two weeks from the debut of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, I’m ecstatic to announce our imminent return to Quick Stop! So I assure you: we’re open!”
Clerks 3 has been in the works in some form at various points throughout the past decade. At one time, Kevin Smith wanted it to be a stage play, another time he wanted it in theaters for the 20th anniversary of Clerks in 2014, then it was supposed to start as an interactive book before becoming a movie. But when the time came for Clerks 3 to actually happen, with funding set in place just a couple years ago, co-star Jeff Anderson just didn’t feel compelled to do it, so the project just didn’t come together. Unfortunately, the process of trying to make it happen created a rift between Smith and Anderson, but now they’ve patched things up and are ready to end the trilogy.
Clerks co-star Brian O’Halloran has always been up for reprising the role of Dante, and he’s appeared as several other characters in Kevin Smith’s movies over the years. So now that Jeff Anderson is ready to get back in front of the camera, everything is in place to make Clerks 3 as soon as Smith finishes the script that he only just started.
Since we never learned any significant details about the previous draft of Clerks 3, we have no idea if there are elements of that script that Smith will use for this completely new script. He says the movie will be “about how you’re never too old to completely change your life,” but I thought that’s what Clerks II was already about. It wouldn’t be surprising if we find Dante and Randal at a point in their life when their age is really starting to get to them, especially after Kevin Smith had a brush with death when he had a heart attack not too long ago. Maybe they’ll even have some kids of their own and learn more grown-up life lessons.
Though I was happy to see Kevin Smith seemingly put a cap on the View Askewniverse with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, I suppose it makes sense for everything to come to an end with Clerks 3 instead. The end of the trilogy can also be the end of the cinematic universe he started 25 years ago this year. Hopefully Jay and Silent Bob Reboot doesn’t leave a bad taste in our mouth while we wait for Clerks 3.
Kevin Smith’s plan all along was to make Clerks 3, but when actor Jeff Anderson said that he wasn’t interested in reprising his role as Randall, he moved onto Mallrats 2. And after that fell apart, due to Universal owning the rights “We’ve never given a title we own back to somebody”, Smith started writing Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. He never gave up hope on a third Clerks movie, though, and his persistence paid off: Smith revealed on Facebook that Dante, Randal, Jay, and Silent Bob are returning to the “scene of the crime” the crime presumably being having sex with a dead person.
“[Jeff Anderson], [Jason Mewes], and I spent Saturday signing stuff and catching up, seeing so much movie merch that’s been made over the last 25 years… But even better than that? We talked about making a movie together,” he wrote. “It’ll be a movie that concludes a saga. It’ll be a movie about how you’re never too old to completely change your life. It’ll be a movie about how a decades-spanning friendship finally confronts the future. It’ll be a movie that brings us back to the beginning – a return to the cradle of civilization in the great state of #newjersey. It’ll be a movie that stars Jeff and [Brian O’Halloran], with me and Jay in supporting roles. And it’ll be a movie called CLERKS III!”
It would be funny after all that build, the final sentence was, “And it’ll be a movie called JERSEY GIRL II!” Hey, you never know, Smith and Ben Affleck are on good terms again:
To be great is to go on. To go on is to go far. To go far is to return. And we’re all gonna return to the scene of the crime! This won’t be the old script we almost made a few years back: this is a completely new screenplay that I just started writing last night! And so far, it’s like a dream come true! After mending fences with @benaffleck earlier this year, I was hoping for a chance to do the same with Jeff - so huge thanks to Leeloo Multiprops for getting us all in the same room. But the biggest thanks ever go to Jeff, for being receptive to the idea at all. This means I’m gonna get to play with my two favorite inaction figures again: Dante & Randal! Via
Smith concluded his note with, “I’m ecstatic to announce our imminent return to Quick Stop,” after Clerks II ended with Dante and Randal re-opening the convenience store from the original film. If only there were new Star Wars movies for them to riff on…
Following his “massive” heart attack last year, Kevin Smith lost over 50 pounds and became an ambassador for Weight Watchers. He did not, however, do Keto, despite what an online advertisement claims. The Jay and Silent Bob Reboot director and star took to his Instagram to call out a fake ad, showing before-and-after images of Smith, that ultimately leads to a phishing website.
“PHISHING PHUCKERS! This image and the click-through link is being posted to folks’ [Facebook] pages WITHOUT MY PERMISSION! The link attached to the stolen image that I posted on [Instagram] last year leads to a phishing site, so DO NOT CLICK! This ad is pure bullshit,” he wrote. “I never did Keto: to lose weight after my heart attack, I went Vegan and then joined [Weight Watchers].”
The ad attributes a quote to Smith — “No, I didn’t need to exercise every day. I’ve always liked to jog every few days, but I didn’t. The only thing I did was took these pills” — which, as he notes, is grammatically incorrect and “fabricated as I’ve *never* jogged and the only pills I take are heart-related prescriptions mandated by my cardiologist… Don’t believe anybody trying to sell you on a weight loss pill, whether using my image and a fake pull quote or not.” Smith compared his experience to when Homer Simpson “found that Mr. Sparkle box.”
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To be fair to the fake ad see it here, at least it picked an iconic image.