Kevin Smith returns to his ViewAskew universe this week by also returning to the location that started it all: the New Jersey convenience store that serves as the setting for the Clerks franchise. Clerks III catches back up with Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) as they cope with the latter suffering a devastating heart attack. So much of it is modeled around Smith’s personal experience with the widowmaker that almost claimed his life. But during a recent appearance on CinemaBlend’s official ReelBlend podcast, Smith also compared Clerks III to the smash hit Top Gun: Maverick, and his reasoning makes a lot of sense.
Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick remains the story of the movie year. Tom Cruise revived a long-dormant franchise but breathed new life into the formula by inviting fresh faces in a handsome cast, and allowing technology to amplify the action set pieces that are integral to a Top Gun movie. Basically, the team behind Top Gun: Maverick knew which buttons to push to make emotional connections with its audience, and Kevin Smith thinks that he has the same grip on Clerks III. As he joked to ReelBend:
Kevin Smith is going for the heart strings in Clerks III. Which makes sense, given that his recent heart attack prompted him to finally buckle down and make this sequel, so he could bring the Clerks saga to a close. Saga? OK, that’s generous, but the commitment that Smith’s fans have to these storylines and this universe is complete and total, and they will – as Smith comments – follow him to the ends of the Earth until he’s finished telling these stories.
Smith isn’t finished. He’s about to move on to a sequel to his bizarre movie Tusk, and he told the ReelBlend guys that he’d even like Johnny Depp to return for the sequel. Here, listen to our complete conversation with Kevin Smith. He’s always a fantastic guest!
And in the meantime, Clerks III is playing in theaters now as part of a week-long Fathom event. After that, Smith will take the show on the road, and might be coming to a city near you, so check him out if he’s anywhere near you.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.