The Clerks movies have always been very personal for Kevin Smith. Of course, the first one pretty much showed off Smith’s life as a convenience store clerk and all the time he’d spending pissing away his day. It ultimately had no plot, but was a real display of ennui, which resonated with a lot of geeks back in the day.
Clerks II was all about pushing past your 20s and finding the career path that’s best suited to yourself — which is something I think Smith has done a great job at doing in his own career, even if I haven’t cared for most of his films since then.
RELATED – Kevin Smith Announces Clerks 3
But what would the third film be about? As has been widely discussed, the original draft of Clerks III, the one that didn’t ultimately get made, was a pretty morbid film, as Smith revealed to TheWrap.
“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, the last 15 minutes of that entire read.”
“It’s a f—ing tearjerker. It’s like the King Lear of Clerks movies. It’s really unbelievably moving and sad, but it’s not what I want to do with those guys for this. You would’ve seen the old Clerks 3 and been like, did the guy who made Clerks forget that Clerks was a comedy?”
Personally, I would have loved to see this version of the movie, as it sounds like this one would have seen Smith growing as a filmmaker, but actor Jeff Anderson was not on board to play Randal for this third outing. So we’re never going to get that. However, there’s been a rewrite on it, and for this version, Anderson is on board to play.
So, what is this movie about? Well, it turns out Smith is lifting directly from his own life. If you’ll recall, a couple of years back, Smith suffered a massive heart attack, and that serves as the inciting incident of this movie.
“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.”
“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.”
So, in many ways, Clerks III will be the most autobiographical of movies because it will not only have the characters making a Clerks film, but it will have that whole heart attack aspect.
This is all well and good, I suppose. But I hope he’ll sell copies of that old Clerks III script. What do you think of the premise? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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