Almost 16 years ago, writer/director Kevin Smith went “back to the well,” refining the iconic characters of Dante and Randall with even more depth and filth than ever before. However, as any good Star Wars or Lord of the Rings fan will tell you, it’s not truly an epic until you complete your trilogy. It’s a promise that Smith is finally making good on, with the upcoming movie Clerks III.
As you can see in the film’s first trailer, things are about to get very meta in the View Askewniverse. Star Wars in a post-Disney merger climate, previous adventures in the New Jersey-based View Askewniverse, and Kevin Smith's own life and career are obviously not out of bounds. Which means that this first trailer already feels like gold.
Lionsgate, in partnership with Fathom Events, will be sending Clerks III to theaters in limited release, only on September 13th and 15th. That’s, of course, on top of Kevin Smith’s new Clerks III: The Convenience Tour roadshow, which will be starting in Smith’s old stomping grounds of Red Bank, New Jersey on September 4th. Smith hasn't shaken that "true indie" model he's been in love with since Red State, so you may want to keep that in mind when buying a ticket to Clerks III.
It’s all being played close to the heart, as this new footage reintroduces us to Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), just as the latter has a close call with death. Cribbing from Kevin Smith’s own personal health history, Clerks III shows us a post-heart attack Randal who’s ready to complete an epic quest.
Deciding to make a movie based on the lives of himself and his best friend at the counter, Randal is basically making Clerks; right down to riffing on the original ending where Dante would have been shot by a mugger. Which is, of course, Kevin Smith’s signal to us all that he’s about to rip himself a new one by parodying his 1994 classic in a new light.
Before we get too deep into introspection, one last thing needs to be discussed about Clerks III, and that’s the cameos. Seeing Ben Affleck coming back yet again is no surprise, as Kevin Smith’s fence-mending for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot has definitely held up. Catching Fred Armisen and Sarah Michelle Gellar trying out for roles in Randal's movie within the movie is another Smith-style touch that has me keeping my eyes peeled for any other top secret appearances that might come up.
The road to Clerks III has always been a long, winding, and crazy path for fans to tread upon. While there was a script in place for the film as early as 2013, that version was never made. It wasn’t until after Kevin Smith’s massive heart attack that he’d revisit the Quick Stop gang yet again, with that live changing event inspiring changes to the third Clerks story. After all of the teasing and expectations, we’ve got the first look above to show for it.
Waiting for the final iteration of Clerks III has, thankfully, been much shorter. Smith’s emotional 2019 announcement wasn’t too far from when the filmmaker announced shooting was completed last September. The wait is almost over, and so far the trailer for Clerks III looks like it's got the fire to match its unique brand of smoke. (And this time, it's legal in Jersey, so it's all cool.)
Kevin Smith will finally release Clerks III into theaters on September 13th and 15th, which you can purchase tickets for now through Fathom Events. Also, don’t forget that tickets for the first wave of Clerks III: The Convenience Tour dates are now on sale as well.
If you don’t see a location that’s close to your neck of the woods, don’t fret; the next wave of announcements will drop at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Meanwhile, if you’re a Paramount+ subscriber, you can revisit Clerks as that platform is the streaming home for the 1994 original, at the time of this writing.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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