Nearly 28 years after Clerks, Clerks 3, the conclusion to the trilogy, was released after years of development and delays. Written and directed by Kevin Smith, Clerks 3 follows Randall Graves (Jeff Anderson) who decides that after a heart attack, he’s going to make a movie with his friend Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) about their lives at the Quick Stop convenience store. The first installment of Kevin Smith’s “Viewaskewniverse,” Clerks was released in 1994, and its sequel Clerks 2 wasn’t released until 2006 showing a trend of large gaps of time between the core trilogy of Kevin Smith’s vast filmography.
From the comedy horror film Tusk to Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Kevin Smith has never set his foot down in one single medium for too long. He’s written for Marvel, DC Comics, created animated shows, video games, and of course, movies. After almost three decades he’s returned to the series that jump-started his career, and with him the ensemble cast the trilogy is known for. Showing up in Clerks 3 are Rosario Dawson, Marilyn Ghiglioti, Trevor Fehrman, Jason Mewes, and Kevin Smith himself as Becky Scott, Veronica Loughran, Elias Grover, Jay, and Silent Bob respectively.
Along with the return of the cast came some of the same problems that delayed Clerks 2. Lack of funding, personal health problems, casting issues, location management, and other projects would rear their ugly head impeding the development of Clerks 3. Kevin Smith had been speaking of Clerks 3 back in 2012 when he expressed his interest in producing it as a Broadway play. In 2013, Smith announced he’d finished the script for Clerks 3, but put the production of it on hold, so he could make his walrus movie Tusk. Afterward, one of the four leads, Jeff Anderson, who plays the lead Randall, opted out of the then-completed script. For years following, Smith doubted he would ever get to conclude Clerks, and the conversation was halted until 2018 when Smith suffered a near-fatal heart attack.
Clerks 3’s Delays Continue A Franchise Trend
Surviving and recovering from a heart attack, Kevin Smith scrapped the original script for Clerks 3 and rewrote it with a new heart, so to speak. With the newly invigorated Kevin Smith and script, Jeff Anderson announced his return to the series, finally cementing the cast that would be Clerks 3. Being far from the only Clerks that had problems reaching production, Clerks 2 was delayed for nearly seven years before being released in 2006. After working to secure the funding for Clerks 2, it would be postponed in favor of Kevin Smith’s other projects, namely the romantic comedy Catch and Release. Yet another similar problem of needing to convince Jeff Anderson arose, as the actor was afraid that he had been typecast because of the original Clerks, but Kevin Smith’s confidence in the material of Clerks 2 would eventually persuade him.
Making sure that no single step was an easy one, Clerks 3 has followed its prequels in not only story but in labored production. Each was impeded by another project that forced its way in, each was put on hold in the search of funds. Reuniting the cast also proved to be a challenge, but all these years and all these obstacles later, Clerks 3 was finally released, and with it, the book has closed on the Quick Stop trilogy.