The cast of Kevin Smith’s Clerks is back. The third installment of the 1994 cult classic will take fans back to the New Jersey convenience store where it all started. And it looks like Dante (Brian O’Halloran), his best friend Randal (Jeff Anderson), his wife Becky (Rosario Dawson), and Elias (Trevor Fehrman) haven’t changed much.
In a photo shared on Instagram, Kevin Smith gave fans a first look at the cast of Clerks III. The image, shared alongside an old photo of the cast, shows how everyone has aged except for Rosario Dawson. In the accompanying caption Smith, “The idea was to show the ravages of time, but Rosario ruins the chronological curve for the rest of the cast by being essentially ageless (indeed, she somehow looks younger in #clerks3 than she did in Clerks II)!”
The Rosario Dawson image was part of a shoot for Vanity Fair, where Smith talks about his idea for the new film. After going in a different direction from the previous film, Clerks III will be more in line with his vision from the original movie. “I love it so much, but the problem with Clerks II is, it’s pure artifice to a large degree. Clerks was based solely on reality. I woke up, I went to that store. Crazy people came in, kids hung out outside, and sold drugs, I had a friend who worked next door. All of it was very autobiographical,” Smith told the publication. “Clerks II was completely fabricated, right down to the fact that I never even worked in fast food.”
According to Smith, the Rosario Dawson starrer is officially over halfway done shooting and will be wrapping in two weeks. He also revealed the plot around Clerks III, describing it as meta tongue-in-cheek and autobiographical. The director suffered a severe heart attack a few years ago and the story will see Anderson’s Randal survive a similar illness, using that as a catalyst to change his life and make a movie.
“The film is predicated on the idea that Randal survives a heart attack, a massive heart attack, quite like I did, and then winds up, you know, deciding that he’s wasted his life,” Smith said. “But before he dies he wants to memorialize himself. He wants to make a movie. So our boys essentially wind up making Clerks.”
Interestingly, the original Clerks was filmed in black and white, but Clerks II was filmed in color. Clerks III will also be in color, but the movie-within-a-movie Randal is making (called “Inconvenience”), will see the character shoot in black and white as a homage to the original. “That allows us to reshoot so many of the key moments from Clerks in their movie,” Smith explained.
Written, produced, and directed by Kevin Smith, Clerks III will serve as a sequel to the 1994 and 2006 films. It stars Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fehrman, Jason Mewes, and Smith. The film will be distributed by Lionsgate in 2022.
Clerks was Kevin Smith’s breakout film, launching his career as an acclaimed writer and director. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994. The movie was shot for $27,575 in the convenience and video stores where Smith worked in real life. Upon its release, the film received positive reviews and earned over $3 million in theaters. Since then, Smith has directed several successful movies like Dogma, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and the two Jay and Silent Bob films.