When Clerks III hits theaters next month it will be a case of life imitating art. The story of the new Clerks will focus on Randal, one of the main characters of the previous films, having survived a heart attack, just as Kevin Smith himself did not so long ago. While Smith’s family doesn’t love him using his heart attack for artistic inspiration, the director is apparently much happier with this plan for Clerks III that where he started with the project.
Smith’s plans to make a third Clerks move pre-date his brush with death, and so the original plan for Clerks III was very different, though it did take inspiration from other real life events. Originally Clerks III was going to act as something of a direct sequel to Jay and Silent Bob Reboot as it would start from the events in that film's opening, where everybody at the Quick Stop gets arrested. Kevin Smith tells THR that while in jail, however, a real life tragedy would transpire, which would then have a major impact on one of our heroes. Smith explains…
Randal would have still been the de facto main character of Clerks III, as the destruction of the Quick Stop would have caused him to have a nervous breakdown. Unable to deal with it all, Randal would go get in line to see a movie. The catch was that the movie he wanted to see wasn’t set to open for a year, so in a seeming nod to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and the people who sat in long lines for days and weeks to buy tickets, Randal would just wait.
But he would not wait alone. Apparently others would notice Randal sitting in line for the movie Ranger Danger, and decide to join him. Eventually a lot more people become part of this line of people who have decided to spend a year waiting for a movie. Smith continues…
Smith admits that this idea from Clerks III was a far leap from the previous films, and he’s honestly quite glad that it was never made. Though a movie about grief is maybe not that far off the mark from where Smith’s thoughts currently are, as he also wanted Jay and Silent Bob Reboot to make audiences cry. In its own way it feels like Clerks III will still be a more emotional movie than we expect.
Instead of hurricanes and nervous breakdowns and the end of the Quick Stop, Clerks III will end, in its own way, where it all started, at that same Quick Stop. Randal, having survived his heart attack and come to the realization that his life has been mostly meaningless, will decide to make a movie, the same movie we know Kevin Smith’s Clerks.
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