Kevin Smith’s “Clerks III” has been acquired for release by Lionsgate. The second sequel to Smith’s indie comedy classic will begin filming next month.
Lionsgate took worldwide rights to “Clerks III,” and the film that Smith wrote and will direct is in pre-production now in New Jersey.
The complete “Clerks” cast — including Jeff Anderson as Randal, Brian O’Halloran as Dante, Jay Mewes as Jay, Kevin Smith as Silent Bob and Rosario Dawson as Becky — will return for the third film.
Liz Destro and Jordan Monsanto are producing.
Way back in October 2019, Smith told TheWrap exclusively about the story for “Clerks III,” saying it was inspired by the director’s own heart attack from 2018 that led to his inspiring comeback.
“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,” Smith previously told TheWrap. “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.’”
The synopsis for the film is that, following a massive heart attack, Randal enlists fellow clerks Dante, Elias, Jay and Silent Bob to make a movie immortalizing his life at the convenience store that started it all.
“There’s a saying from the Tao that goes something like, ‘To be great is to go on. To go on is to go far. To go far is to return.’ Thanks to Lionsgate, we get to return to where it all started with almost the whole cast that started it all,” Smith said in a statement on Monday. “And for the first time since the first time we ever made a movie in 1993, we’re shooting the entire flick on location in New Jersey, as an ode to both the enduring allure of cinema and the resourcefulness and lunacy of its storytellers. Years ago, Dante and Randal made me a filmmaker – so now it’s time I return the favor.”
“The ‘Clerks’ movies are audience favorites and many of Kevin’s films, like ‘Dogma,’ ‘Red State,’ and the ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’ are a beloved part of our library that continues to delight Kevin’s devoted fans. We’re thrilled to be presenting the next chapter in the ‘Clerks’ saga to moviegoers worldwide,” Eda Kowan, executive vice president of acquisitions and co-productions for Lionsgate, added.
“Clerks” from 1994 made waves at Sundance for its indie, low-budget charms about two store clerks who pester customers, talk about movies and ponder the bigger questions in life. The film launched Smith’s career, and he followed it up with a sequel in 2006. His last film was 2019’s “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” which is a spinoff movie starring two of the fan-favorite characters from “Clerks,” including Smith as Silent Bob. Smith is also working with Netflix on “Masters Of The Universe: Revelation,” which will debut this Friday, July 23.
Eda Kowan acquired the project and will oversee the film for Lionsgate. Kowan, Grace Duplissea and Kaycee Holcomb negotiated the deal for Lionsgate. Destro and Jackie Eckhouse at Sloss Law negotiated the deal on behalf of Kevin Smith and the producers.
Deadline first reported the news.