Exclusive: Kevin Smith has shared details of his different original script for Clerks 3, teasing a vastly different sequel set in a movie theatre.
Exclusive: Kevin Smith has shared details of his different original script for Clerks III, teasing a vastly different sequel set in a movie theatre. Smith’s upcoming film reunites the director with Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson, returning as store clerks Dante Hicks and Randal Graves. Clerks III is set to be released on September 13th, 2022.
Almost 28 years since their character’s debut, Clerks III sees store clerks Dante and Randal return to the Quick Stop, along with Rosario Dawson’s Becky Scott, Trevor Fehrman’s Elias Grover, and Smith and Jason Mewe’s stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob. While the characters have returned to their typical everyday lives, a heart attack makes Randal reconsider his life choices and gives him the drive to finally make a film chronicling his and Dante’s lives. With Clerks III recreating moments from Smith’s debut film, the sequel promises to be a passionate reflection and celebration of Smith’s career and passion for filmmaking. However, the writer and director revealed that the film had a drastically different setting in the original script.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Smith revealed that the version of Clerks III that he eventually filmed differed significantly from his original script developed several years ago. While the director stated a handful of moments and lines from the initial draft made it into his final script, the original film featured a drastically different setting, where the cast would have instead relocated to a movie theatre rather than returning to the Quick Stop. Smith, however, revealed that he feels that the film’s final version was closer to what the sequel would have needed to be, in his eyes. Check out Smith’s answer below.
“There was a version of Clerks III that I’d written years ago that we did not make. I lifted some jokes from [it] and s–t, but the structure of it was completely f–king different. It didn’t take place at a Quick Stop at all; took place outside of a movie theater the entire time. So, this wound up being a lot closer to what it needed to be.”
While the third film has had a long development history throughout the 2010s, Smith revealed what convinced Lionsgate to greenlight Clerks III when promoting the upcoming sequel at San-Diego Comic Con 2022. According to the director, Lionsgate had been impressed with the number of sales Smith’s previous View Askewniverse-based sequel, Jay and Silent Bob: Reboot had upon its home release. As such, Smith revealed that the studio reached out to him, offering him a specific budget to create more films, with the director then thanking fans for their continued support of his characters.
While Clerks III differs from Smith’s original idea to set the film outside a theatre, it still fits perfectly with the director’s tributes to movies in his prior films. Although plans ultimately changed, Clerks III’s trailer features many recognizable references to both Smith’s career as well as the films that inspired him, staying faithful to the style of writing and passion longtime fans would expect from him. With Smith emphasizing how he feels the film delivers an ideal return to the characters who launched his career, it is clear that Clerks III will be a welcome visit to the Quick Stop for fans.
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