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After 16 years of fan anticipation, the long-awaited third entry in Kevin Smith's Clerks saga is finally ready for release. The film — which arrives on the big screen this September via Lionsgate and Fathom Events — finds the writer/director at his most meta with a self-aware love letter to the Clerks brand and franchise filmmaking in general.
Following a massive heart attack that almost puts him in an early grave, Randal (Jeff Anderson) decides to make the most of his remaining time. Instead of watching movies and slacking off all day, he decides to make a cinematic feature of his own. To that end, Randal recruits his friends and fellow clerks Dante (Brian O'Halloran), Elias (Trevor Fehrman), Jay (Jason Mewes), and Silent Bob (Smith) to make a movie about the convenience store that kickstarted Smith's directorial career. Rosario Dawson (reprising the role of Becky Scott from Clerks II), Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ben Affleck, Fred Armisen, and Austin Zajur are also confirmed to make appearances.
Check out the trailer below:
“You can’t slack after a heart attack. It’s that simple,” Smith, who went through his own near-death experience in 2018, remarked during an interview with Vanity Fair last summer. “That being the motivating factor in our story just gives us a way to leap off into the theme of: There is less time ahead of us than there is behind us at this point. When we made Clerks, our whole lives were ahead of us. Now I know for a fact, a medical fact, I ain’t going to live another 51 years. So that means that there is less time ahead of me…. I can get as healthy as possible, but I’m dealing with genetics, and those genetics have a ticking clock on them.”
He continued: “My personal life has been one that’s very fulfilled, so much so that even when I was dying from a heart attack on the table, I was like, You know what? If I die tonight, no complaints. I got to make movies and tell stories. People pretended that I mattered. This is a great way to chill out. Don’t be that last guy at the party that's like, ‘Hey, man, you got any more beer?’ Go home at a good time.”
Rated R and clocking in at 100 minutes, Clerks III will be available to exclusively catch in theaters on Tuesday, Sep. 13 and Thursday, Sep. 15.
Want more Kevin Smith content while you wait? The filmmaker's 2018 comedy special Silent but Deadly is currently streaming on Peacock.