Clerks 3 has long been on the minds of Kevin Smith and his legion of fans who’ve hung around for the better part of two-and-a-half decades. It’s a world the filmmaker created on the back of a handheld camera and a dream to make movies. Back in 1994, Smith released Clerks, a black-and-white cult classic about Dante Hicks and his trials and tribulations working in a local convenience store. The movie, shot on a barebones budget (less than $30K) went on to gross more than $3 million in theaters, launching the director’s career.
Now, we are getting firm rumors of Clerks 3 in the pipeline with plenty of nuggets coming out about the setting, stars, and possible storyline. Let’s take a look at what we know about the movie and the film’s universe in general.
What’s the View Askewniverse?
Clerks 3 will undoubtedly live in Smith’s self-described, View Askewniverse, the name for the world these characters inhabit. Starting with the original Clerks, there are eight movies in all including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks II, Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
The films have plenty of overlap (some are even direct sequels), with the most common thread of characters being the iconic Jay and Silent Bob who were first introduced in the original Clerks. Jason Mewes plays the hard-charging Jay while Smith himself embodies the character of Silent Bob. These two have appeared in every film, typically as unconventional sage-like characters who, sometimes in bit roles, provide guidance for the main characters. They are actually friends in real-life as well, with Smith often heling a very troubled Mewes with his own inner demons.
In addition to Clerks 3, there’s also talk of a Mallrats sequel with a working title of Twilight of the Mallrats.
Where Will Clerks 3 Take Place?
Smith was born and raised in Red Bank, New Jersey, and his films almost primarily are located (or at least start) here. The original Clerks took place in Leonardo, New Jersey in a Quick Stop grocery store with other scenes shot in a local RST Video Store. Both locations are actually still standing in their original spots. The Quick Stop is a local pilgrimage spot for Smith fans. And the RST Video Store was recently purchased with the intent of turning it into a boutique rental spot for VHS and other nostalgic pieces of yesteryear.
While Clerks 2 started with a fire at the Quick Stop, quickly putting the cast in a fish-out-of-slushies setting in another spot, Clerks 3 looks set to return to Quick Stop as the primary setting. Smith said as much in a tweet when he fired back at complaints about moving the crew out of the local spots for the second film.
This return to its roots move makes a lot of sense especially if this ends up being the final piece in the Clerks franchise. Smith, a fan of the trilogy format, likely makes this Dante’s final stand.
Who Will Star in Clerks 3?
Speaking of, Brian O’Halloran will reprise his role as the tortured Dante in Clerks 3. He’s followed a rough arc over the movies as a sensitive but quick-to-anger store clerk. Considering he’s the “face” of the Clerks movies, it would be unreasonable to expect a sequel without him.
Also returning is Dante’s best friend and fellow clerk Randall played by Jeff Anderson. The two have had a rocky relationship in the past, but appear set to work side-by-side again in Clerks 3.
Of course, the aforementioned Jay and Silent Bob are already listed in the cast which almost goes without saying at this point in the world of Kevin Smith movies.
And finally, also returning from the original will be Marlyn Ghigliotti as Veronica. Last seen in Clerks, Veronica was part of a love triangle with Dante and his ex-girlfriend Caitlin. The movie ends with Dante going to get back together with Veronica after a major falling out. But she didn’t appear in Clerks 2 at all and it’s apparent from the beginning that they never actually got back together.
These are the only confirmed casting announcements and I’m honestly not sure how many more are coming. Considering the bottle nature of the original film and the possible return to a single setting, there wouldn’t be all that much more room for major additional cast members.
What Will It Be About?
We have the setting and the main cast of characters and Kevin Smith has given a number of details about the plot of Clerks 3 on a base level. For starters, he has given an overarching idea of how he sees the movie playing out.
He said in an interview that it “concludes a saga”, and is “about how a decades-spanning friendship confronts the future.” Smith has always placed heavy ideas and long-form, quasi-philosophical dialogue at the forefront of his movies, using character back and forth as the “action” at times. It looks like this latest will incorporate the same ideas with possible final reconciliation between Dante, Randall, and Veronica.
Smith did give a few more details along these lines in another interview, saying Clerks 3 was inspired by his own real-life heart attack back in 2018. He said that event “inspired” him to have Randall confronted with his own death. Randall apparently suffers his own cardiac arrest that puts him in the mode of revisiting the course of his life. According to Smith, this is what sets Dante and Randall on a path to actually filming the original Clerks. This is how Smith envisions the movie series coming full circle.
And again, without firm details, it also stands to reason we see Dante finally begin to move away from the Quick Stop all together (maybe into a movie career?). This is what I took from Smith mentioning confronting the future. He’s often used the character to comment about our station in life and it will be interesting if that means Dante moves on or just accepts his fate as a lifelong clerk
When Will Clerks 3 Be Released?
As of now, there’s no firm release date on Clerks 3 with the film still technically only “announced” and not even in pre-production yet. But when it does hit theaters we should have an irreverent and nostalgic film on our hands. Seeing as how this is Smith’s baby with such a clear thread to his own life, the movie should be well worth the wait.