While the series has always been very close to him, Kevin Smith has been extra inspired to returned to his classic View Askewniverse ever since suffering a heart attack last year. It’s what kick started production on the forthcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, which sees the filmmaker paying very meta reverence to his own Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The health scare also had a big impact on the story of the newly announced Clerks 3 — so much so that it’s an actual plot point.
In a new interview with The Wrap, Smith revealed that the forthcoming threequel will be based very closely on his own life. Not only does a character’s near-death experience trigger the movie’s plot, but the story will actually mirror the creation of the original Clerks. As Smith explained,
“Randal [Jeff Anderson] 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 [Brian O’Halloran], I think we need to make a movie. So Dante and Randal make Clerks. That’s the story of Clerks 3.”
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Smith has always been the sort of sentimental softy to put his heart into his movies, and while it doesn’t always produce the best quality films, their sweetness is undeniable. Having his first screen characters return to pay homage to his first production is exactly the kind of sappiness Smith fans would expect and appreciate.
He went on to say we can expect the return of many familiar faces, including Jay (Jason Mewes) and his own role of Silent Bob. “I get to do that same fucking movie and scene in the movie,” he gushed. “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.”
There was a previous screenplay for Clerks 3 that Smith described as far more “doom and gloom.” He held a live-reading of the script in New Jersey back in August, the last 15 minutes of which he said there “wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” Production on that version stalled for unknown reasons, though apparently it left Smith and Anderson at odds. Thankfully, they’ve since patched things up and are ready to reopen the Quick Stop. “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,” said Smith.
Until then, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot has limited theater screenings via Fathom Events scheduled for October 15th and 17th. Smith and Mewes will then take the movie on a 62-city roadshow tour, tickets for which you can find here.