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Thanks to his constant chatter about both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Star Wars: Episode VII, Kevin Smith has recently been mentioned in far fewer headlines about his own films than ones concerning projects he has next-to-nothing to do with. In recent months the New Jersey-born filmmaker has been working on his horror movie Tusk, but what does he have going on in the future? For a while there were some talks about a possible Clerks 3, but now it appears those hopes have been dashed.
Speaking with Screen Daily (via Variety), Smith has revealed that Clerks 3 has hit a major glitch now that The Weinstein Company has passed on his pitch. The filmmaker apparently went to the studio with a very low figure in mind for a budget, but was turned away saying that the price tag was just too high. Said Smith,
"[The Weinsteins] passed. I went in with a $6 million budget and they were like, ‘Oh no, Kevin. This is too high.’ Bob offered us distribution, but they weren’t going to finance it."
Revealed to be in the works back in 2012 (when Smith claimed it would be the final film of his career), Clerks 3 has looked like a real possibility for a couple years now. In January of last year, the director had hopes to have a finished product in theaters at some point in 2014, and last May it was revealed that the first draft of the screenplay. Presumably the $6 million price tag comes from Smith being very mindful of the size of the sequel, and trying to keep costs down, but it's apparently just too much.
Honestly, this news is actually kind of surprising. More than the fact that Kevin Smith and the Weinsteins have had a close relationship for years, it's worth noting that Clerks II wasn't really that big a disappointment. Made for just $5 million, the film made $24 million domestically and $26 million globally- While this doesn't factor in the cost of marketing, that's still a total five times higher than the initial investment. A blockbuster the movie was not, but it also wasn't exactly a big disaster.
So if Clerks 3 isn't going to happen, what will Smith's follow-up to Tusk be? Apparently it's a spin-off called Yoga-Hosers that follows a pair of characters only featured in the walrus-themed horror movie for a few short moments. Said the filmmaker:
"Like Tusk, [Yoga-Hosers] sprang out of a podcast. There are two characters in a convenience store in Tusk that you see for five minutes, very much Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. I’ve built a whole movie around them and I have brought one of the other characters from Tusk back."
Could this be the start of the View Askew-neverse Part II? We'll find out later this year, as Tusk is being released by A24 and is expected some time this fall.