Clerks III has taken a big step towards production as Kevin Smith has just completed his first draft of the screenplay. In 2019, Smith announced that the sequel was officially in the works after he finally managed to convince Jeff Anderson to reprise the role of Randal Graves - the hangup that had prevented Clerks III from happening for years.

Taking to Facebook to provide an update on the project, Kevin Smith writes, "I started writing CLERKS III on December 28th and just finished the 101 page first draft last night! But the writing doesn't begin when you start tapping the keys: I've been stirring this stew in my brain pan for awhile now. So when I sat down to put years of daydreaming into actual words, the typing part of the writing process was pretty brisk."

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He adds, "Fake New Jersey (or what I've long called the View Askewniverse) has been so much more preferable to visit than the real world lately - but I've told the tale I wanted to tell, so it's time to step back, hand the script off to a trusted few, and then tinker further based on the feedback."

Smith also explains that this is not the first screenplay he's written for Clerks III, though this one is an entirely different story that the filmmaker feels will be much better. The new screenplay is directly inspired by Kevin Smith's near-fatal heart attack in 2018 that completely changed his life. In 2019, Smith explained that the plot of Clerks III would revolve around Randal suffering a heart attack and making a Clerks-style movie with Dante (Brian O'Halloran) at the Quick Stop after his recovery.

In his new update on the project, Smith touches on how difficult it was to write the more serious scenes in the movie, but he's satisfied with how funny the screenplay turned out to be. He also confirmed that the door is wide open for any characters from the previous two movies to join Dante and Randal.

"This is a much more personal story than the previous incarnation, drawing directly on the heart attack that nearly killed me (3 years ago next month)," explains Smith. "It was oddly triggering writing those scenes, as it was the first time in a while I contemplated how close I came to shuffling lose this mortal coil. But far more than make me mindful of my own mortality, this script to Clerks III makes me laugh out loud. Dante, Randal, Elias, Becky, Jay and Silent Bob are all back, and the premise of the flick allows anyone who was in Clerks or Clerks II to return in some capacity."

Smith also suggests that filming will begin this year with his closing message. The filmmaker writes, "After a bummer of a 2020, this is how I want to spend some of 2021: at @quickstopgroceries where it all began, with friends and family. And when we finally roll cameras on Clerks III, I will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I *am* supposed to be there that day!"

In addition to Clerks III, Smith is also planning a sequel to another one of his classic movies. He previously announced that he is writing the script for Twilight of the Mallrats, a followup to his 1995 comedy Mallrats. Last year, he said that the screenplay was written and that the original cast would return. It's not clear when filming will begin on this project. This news comes to us from Kevin Smith on Facebook.