Following the commercial and critical success of Kevin Smith’s first film, Clerks, in 1994, the filmmaker rode a wave of more moderately successful releases that kept his career head slightly above water. His devout cult following has helped him sustain his career as a writer/director in Hollywood after enduring such flops as Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Cop Out.

For years, Smith has talked about retiring from directing. Some suspected Red State may have been his last film if it wasn’t a hit – and it wasn’t – but Smith announced he would do one last feature (a hockey film titled Hit Somebody) before calling it quits. However, with the news that Hit Somebody is becoming a miniseries, Smith now has an opportunity to amend his retirement plan.

Smith announced this week via Twitter that he will write and direct Clerks 3 before he hangs up the headphones and folds up the director’s chair for good. Smith tweeted the following:

“So with the ‘HIT SOMEBODY’ shift, the minute Jeff Anderson signs on, my last cinematic effort as a writer/director will be ‘CLERKS III.'”

We haven’t heard much about Clerks 3 yet, but that’s because it’s still very much in the early stages of development. Smith tweeted this about the project:

“I’ve got a 70 page outline for ‘Clerks III.’ Transitioning to full script won’t take long.”

Obviously, Smith’s legion of fans will be sad to see him retire, but many of them are likely to be comforted by the fact that Smith’s career would have come full circle, ending where in approximately the same place that he started. Clerks is easily one of Smith’s most revered films and, being the one that started it all, it seems only fitting that he would chose to end his career with what will apparently become the third and final entry in the series.

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith as Jay and Silent Bob in ‘Clerks 2′

Kevin Smith fans will also likely be thrilled to see the characters from the Quick Stop return one last time. Although Smith doesn’t call himself an actor, his performance as half of the duo of Jay and Silent Bob might be what he is most known for, especially from moviegoers unfamiliar with the rest of his body of work.

Since Smith’s retirement is only from directing, we will assuredly see him contribute to future projects in some form, whether that be as a producer or actor. And considering all the big-time Hollywood players he calls close friends, most notably Ben Affleck, we’re likely to see Smith’s unique voice surface again sometime soon.

There’s no word yet on when Clerks 3 will go into production or be released.

Source: Kevin Smith’s Twitter Page