Kevin Smith Says the Story for CLERKS 3 Will Be Inspired by His Heart Attack Experience
Kevin Smith recently announced that he is moving forward with Clerks 3 and that Jeff Anderson and Brian O'Halloran would be coming back to reprise their roles of Randal Graves and Dante Hicks.
He previously explained that this movie will conclude the saga. “It'll be a movie about how you're never too old to completely change your life. It'll be a movie about how a decades-spanning friendship finally confronts the future. It'll be a movie that brings us back to the beginning - a return to the cradle of civilization in the great state of New Jersey.”
During a recent interview with The Wrap, Smith offered up some new details on the story saying that it will be inspired by his own experience of having a heart attack. The movie will revolve around Randal recovering from a heart attack. The filmmaker explains:
“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.'”
Smith goes on to talk about how the film is the closest story to his own biography. As Dante and Randal figure out how to make the movie, they’ll even be forced to film it in black and white just like Smith had to do. There will also be movie-within-a-movie scenes in it. Smith goes on to say:
“I’m going to bring my boys right back to where they brought me. I’m writing it, it writes itself because I fucking lived it 25 years ago. It’s just warm and fucking 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.”
It’s also explained that the movie will also feature a scene where Randal and Dante are developing a character based on the Jay that they know who is always hanging around outside their stores:
“I get to do that same fucking movie and scene in the movie. I get to relive everything and put it into the hands of Dante and Randal. So it’s funny and poignant, but it’s more funny than anything else.”
Smith goes on to talk about how this new version of Clerks 3 will see a shift in the tone from doom and gloom to something more positive. When talking about the first script he wrote for Clerks 3, the filmmaker said:
“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 shit. 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 fucking 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?”
It sounds like Smith is very happy with the new direction he’s taking with Clerks 3, and it’s good to know that he’s going to lighten up the mood. I like the direction that he’s looking to take it and the characters.
What do you all think about his plan for the story and how it’s inspired by his heart attack?