As he has been doing the interview rounds for his new book Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, Kevin Smith has been talking about his plans to retire from filmmaking once he completes in his planned hockey picture Hit Somebody. And for long time fans of the director that pronouncement has left them wondering about the Smith’s previously announced possibility of doing a third Clerks movie. Thanks to an enterprising fan who asked him exactly that question at a book signing, and then forwarded the video to Slash Film, we know what his intentions are – a stage play.
Smith launched his career in 1994 with the low-budget indie Clerks, in which two convenience store counter jockeys pass their workday dealing with surly customers and discussing pop culture. Part of the film’s success was Smith drawing on his own experiences working in the exact store that the film was shot. And while a majority of films were all set within the same “universe” as Clerks, he didn’t devote an another entire film to Dante and Randall until 2006’s Clerks 2. At the time and since then, he has stated that he always felt a kinship towards the characters and wanted to check in with them every so many years whenever he felt he had something personal to say about his own life.
Honestly, putting a third Clerks installment up on stage, as crazy as it sounds, does make a certain amount of sense. One of the criticisms Smith acknowledges that has been leveled at Clerks and to a lesser extent most of Smith’s films, is that the heavy amount of dialogue and little action made the film seem more stage-bound then cinematic. I’ve had discussions with friends who do regional theater about what it would take to mount a stage production of the first film. And it would make a rather interesting twist on the usual film-to-stage translations we have been seeing over the last several years.
Additionally, as Smith points out, Clerks star Brian O’Halloran has plied most of his acting career on the stage, so he would definitely be able to handle the differences between this and film work. Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes might be more questionable as to how they would take to the repetition of a long stage run, and I imagine that their participation would be contingent to making this happen.