In the recent issue of Vanity Fair, fans of Kevin Smith‘s Clerks franchise got to see a first look image of the third movie in the series. It’s appropriately identical to the first look image from Clerks 2, featuring the four main characters from the second movie – Elias (Trevor Fehrman), Dante (Brian O’Halloran), Becky (Rosario Dawson), and Randall (Jeff Anderson) – standing shoulder-to-shoulder. While the image for Clerks 2 showed the group at the Mooby’s restaurant, this new image shows the four in front of the counter at the Quick Stop that they now own. The three men are wearing Quick Stop uniforms, while Dawson is seen modeling a zip-up Mooby’s track top and a blue tank top underneath.
Clerks 3 will be going to be an emotional journey for fans of the original movie – not just for its nostalgia, but for the fact that it shows the main characters they fell in love with 27 years ago taking a huge step forward in life. Not only are they the masters of their own destiny as owners of the business that they work in, but the movie will take a meta turn.
The plot centers around Randall instead of Dante this time, and focuses on his desire to pursue his dream of making a movie about the day-to-day experiences of the Quick Stop employees. All of this comes about after Randall experiences a life-threatening heart attack – similar to the heart attack that Smith experienced in real life back in 2018. In speaking to Vanity Fair, Smith said, “We take Randal, a motherfucker who wears cynicism on his sleeve, and we turn him into a dreamer.”
In talking with Vanity Fair, Smith said, “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 continues, “But before he dies he wants to memorialize himself. He wants to make a movie. So our boys essentially wind up making Clerks.” Despite Clerks 3 being in color, Randall’s movie will be in black-and-white, just like the original Clerks. Smith says, “That allows us to reshoot so many of the key moments from Clerks in their movie. Randal’s movie is called Inconvenience.”
By following the usually carefree Randall, we see a character who is now worried that life isn’t what he wanted it to be. “Suddenly, you know, Peter Pan realizes that he ain’t gonna live forever,” Smith says. “Life is short, and time is short, and he’s not guaranteed much of that anymore.”
Smith also talked about how Clerks 3 follows up the supposedly ideal ending of Clerks 2:
“In the last shot they’re in the store that they now own, masters of their own destiny, and as we pull back, it goes from color back to black and white because, you know, you have to be careful what you wish for. Those dudes are like, ‘Yeah, man, now we own the store!’ But they’re still at the store. And when we pick up 15 years later, they’re still at the store…. It’s all disrupted with the heart attack.”
Yet like Randall, it seems that Smith also has regrets, as he wishes he had made even more Clerks movies over the years. “I wish this was Clerks 19. I wish I’d been doing this the whole fucking time, man,” Smith says. “These characters are so close to my heart, and finally letting them take the journey that they sent me on is a big deal for me. Without Dante and Randal, I’m not where I am.”
Smith also says of the series so far, “I love it so much, but the problem with Clerks II is it’s pure artifice to a large degree.” Smith continued, “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. Clerks II is completely fabricated, right down to the fact that I never even worked in fast food.” Yet after Clerks II, Smith states that Clerks III is a “return to form.”
Clerks 3 is currently filming, although no word when Smith‘s latest trip down memory lane will be released. Check out Vanity Fair‘s first look image below.