Kevin Smith On The Deeply Personal 'Clerks 3' Plot

Although he's been promising to wrap up his two-decade-long Clerks franchise for years, Kevin Smith is getting serious about it this time. Not only are all deals in place for Clerks 3, but the narrative he's chosen is also pretty serious as he's drawing upon his own recent health issues.

For those who don't know, Smith has really turned his life around from a health standpoint after suffering a recent heart attack. You can just look at him and see the physical changes between now and his early career. It's through his health problems that Smith gained a renewed focus on his career and a return to the View Askew characters he's always loved. So we've got the upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, and now Clerks 3, the latter drawing from Smith's own life-and-death situation...

“Randal has a heart attack, decides that he came so close to death, and his life has meant nothing, there’s nobody to memorialize him, he has no family or anything like that,” Smith told TheWrap. “And in the recovery, while under fentanyl, he comes to the conclusion at mid-life, having almost died, having worked in a movie store his whole life and watched other people’s movies, he tells Dante, I think we need to make a movie. So Dante and Randal make ‘Clerks.’ That’s the story of ‘Clerks 3.’”

The film will find Dante and Randal shooting a movie based on their own lives and the people who frequent the Quick Stop. Of course, that means Smith gets to be even more meta by bringing Jay and Silent Bob back into the picture...

“I get to do that same fucking movie and scene in the movie,” he said. “I get to relive everything and put it into the hands of Dante and Randal. So it’s funny and poignant, but it’s more funny than anything else.”

I love it. Smith's a few years older than me, and we don't come close to having the same upbringing, but his Clerks films have always arrived at times when his characters were going through things I could relate to. It's one of the reasons Smith will always be among my favorite directors, even when he rips into me on his podcast for hating Yoga Hosers.  When Smith can make light of deeply personal material he's at his best, and I can't wait to see him do it again.