Kevin Smith Shares How Clerks 3 Was Affected By His Heart Attack

Jeff Anderson and Brian O'Halloran in Clerks 2

Kevin Smith is one of the most prolific filmmakers to have emerged over the last three decades. While his work has received a mixed reception, many of his films are considered classics. One of those classic features is the buddy comedy Clerks. A third film in the series, entitled Clerks 3, was announced years ago, but it has seen setbacks. Plus, Smith’s health became his focus after his near-fatal heart attack in 2018. Now, he's taken to social media to share how his heart attack affected his writing process for Clerks 3.

Kevin Smith’s journey after his heart attack has been somewhat transformative. The director has focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and channeling his creativity into projects outside of filmmaking. But filmmaking has never been too far from Smith’s mind as he announced production on Clerks 3. He recently took to Instagram to announce the completion of the Clerks 2 sequel’s first draft. While speaking on his process, he dove into how his health emergency affected the script’s storyline:

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). 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.

Looks like Kevin Smith’s health issues over the last few years made his reasoning for rewriting Clerks 3 even more poignant. It's cool that Smith was able to pull from a devastating health crisis to inform the next chapter in a beloved franchise. As the director mentioned in his post, tapping into such a tragic moment could be triggering for anyone, especially if there are lasting effects. Though revisiting that moment in his life won’t truly hit home for the filmmaker until he sees it play out on the big screen. You can check out more of Smith’s vulnerable Instagram post below:

A photo posted by on

But Kevin Smith’s rewrite of Clerks 3 has been just the latest development in a six-year journey. Smith originally announced the sequel in 2012 as his final film before renigging on the statement. The original script was completed in 2013, but he faced some hiccups along the way, including financing issues and Jeff Anderson not wanting to participate. In 2019, everything was back on track as Smith announced a new script influenced by his heart attack, with Anderson agreeing to appear. The filmmaker spent 2020 working on the sequel’s script along with the next installment of Mallrats.

You can't help but be excited that Clerks 3 is even closer to becoming a reality, and the fact that Kevin Smith was able to draw material from a personal experience just makes it that much more special. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer before the film starts rolling and hits theaters.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).