Kevin Smith is finally heading back to the Quick Stop, as Lionsgate has just picked up the long-gestating comedy sequel Clerks III. The news was officially announced by the studio on Monday and the movie has already begun pre-production in New Jersey. Shooting on the project will officially start in August, and this must be especially good news for Smith after the indie filmmaking legend had spent many, many years trying to get the sequel made.
As with the prior Clerks movies, Kevin Smith wrote the screenplay and will return to direct Clerks III. All major cast members are on board to reprise their roles, including Jeff Anderson as Randal Graves, Brian O'Halloran as Dante Hicks, Jay Mewes as Jay, and Kevin Smith as Silent Bob. Rosario Dawson also reprises her Clerks 2 role as Becky for the sequel. Knowing Smith, there's likely to be many, many surprise appearances from other ViewAskewniverse characters as well.
Inspired by Smith's own real-life heart attack, Clerks III follows Randal after the sarcastic clerk suffers a massive heart attack that nearly costs him his life. With a new outlook on life following his survival, 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. It's almost meta with the clerks in the movie making a movie about being clerks, something that Smith had done in real life at the start of his career.
In a statement, Smith said, "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! 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."
Eda Kowan, executive vice president, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Lionsgate, added: "The Clerks movies are audience favorites and many of Kevin's films, like Dogma, Red State, and 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 acquired the project and will oversee Clerks III for Lionsgate after negotiating the deal for the studio with Grace Duplissea and Kaycee Holcomb. Destro and Jackie Eckhouse at Sloss Law negotiated the deal on behalf of Kevin Smith and the producers.
Lionsgate hasn't yet set an official premiere date for Clerks III, but production will officially begin in August. Meanwhile, Smith's next project is just about to drop on Netflix. An animated continuation of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Smith's new series Masters of the Universe: Revelation will debut on July 23. This news comes to us from Lionsgate.