Back in 2013, writer/director Kevin Smith announced a return to the characters that started his career with a third Clerks film. That plan was scuttled when, after he had written a screenplay, one of the principal actors declined to return for the film. Smith shelved the screenplay, and then went on to revisit another of his ViewAskewniverse comedies with Jay And Silent Bob Reboot, which is due out later this year.
But at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, Smith revealed that he will be making a return trip to the Quick Stop to check in on its two erstwhile counter jockeys – Dante and Randal, by stating that he is planning on writing a new, completely different screenplay for Clerks III.
When I wrote Clerks III, I wrote it during a weirder darker point in my life, and it’s kind of like the King Lear of our movies. I love it, it’s one of my favorite scripts, but it’s dark. It’s bleak, and it’s not what Dante and Randal deserve. We’re never going to make that version of Clerks III, but I’m going to write a different Clerks III and we’re going to make that fucking film, I promise. And in a world where we got to bring Ben [Affleck] back, I’ll be able to bring Jeff [Anderson] back.
Anderson was the aforementioned holdout that stalled the first iteration of Clerks III. And while Smith wouldn’t go into details, on a May 2018 episode of his Fatman On Batman podcast he hinted that there was a rift between him and Anderson that would have made it impossible to go forward with the film. But it seems that just like he was able to mend fences with pal Ben Affleck after a decade’s long rift, Smith has managed to patch things up with Anderson.
As for the original version of Clerks III, Smith will be hosting a reading of the screenplay next month as a fundraiser for the First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Heights, New Jersey, the place where he held the first auditions for Clerks. If you want to go, you better have already bought your ticket as the event is now sold out.