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Kevin Smith Reveals His Favorite Scene In All Of The Clerks Films Now That Clerks 3 Has Opened

There’s no possible way that young Kevin Smith would have predicted, when he was filming his indie directorial debut Clerks, that it would one day morph into a trilogy of introspective films that continue to star Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson and Dante and Randal, the clerks in question who have evolved over the years but maintain their roots (anchors?) to New Jersey. And yet, here we are. The filmmaker’s Clerks 3 currently is playing in theaters, receiving positive reviews from critics and proving that Rosario Dawson doesn’t age like a normal human. And while sitting down with CinemaBlend to discuss the latest Clerks movie, Smith revealed his favorite scene in the Clerks franchise… possibly because it gave him the idea for Clerks 3.

Kevin Smith brought his entire cast with him to San Diego Comic-Con over the summer and started the publicity tour for Clerks 3. The tour will roll on for months, as Smith plans to take Clerks 3 on the road to show it to fans and then hold Q-and-A sessions in select cities. (Grab tickets now.) It was during this fun conversation that Smith opened up about the emotional turn that Clerks 2 took in its final moments, hinting toward the large heart that the latest movie would have. And in that process, he singled out the jail-scene confrontation between Dante and Randal as his favorite Clerks scene, telling CinemaBlend:

It’s true. By the end of the last movie, there was an emotional… like, I would say Randal lets his guard down, and shows that he’s not just a rapid-fire-jokes, cynical machine. That there’s a human being underneath. And we keep going with that. That was honestly the genesis for Clerks 3. My favorite moment in all of the Clerks movies is these two in jail, fighting, and Randal’s like, ‘I’d buy the Quick Stop and reopen it myself!’ And I was like, ‘I would love to live in a movie like that for 90 minutes.’ It took me a while to get here, and that’s what Clerks 3 is. It’s about their very emotional relationship. It’s a marriage, of sorts.

And one that goes through a number of ups and downs during the course of Clerks 3. Picking up where Clerks 2 left off, Dante and Randal now run the Quick Stop, making peace with their decision to embrace the life that they had been handed. But after Randal suffers a heart attack (lifted from Kevin Smith’s own experience with a widowmaker), the clerk decides to make a movie based on his life… just like Smith did when he launched his own career. None of this was part of Smith’s original plan for Clerks 3, but the screenwriter pivoted after his near-death experience – not an exaggeration – and decided to draw from the heart of this Clerks 2 scene to rework the movie that’s in theaters now.

So far, Kevin Smith fans seem to be digging Clerks 3, even if his wife and daughter are mixed on the endeavor. The film has a 94% grade with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, though only 65% from critics. Not terrible, by Smith’s standards. Don’t expect Smith to rush out and make Clerks 4, though. He’s going to be too preoccupied constructing a sequel to Tusk that should star Justin Long and go to some pretty bizarre places… with or without the participation of Johnny Depp. More on that movie as details emerge.  

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.