Kevin Smith has been teasing his fans with the prospect of a Clerks 3 since shortly after the release of Clerks 2, first wanting to do it as a Broadway play, then later opting to make it a normal theatrical feature. Development finally seemed to be kicking into high gear last year, with Smith insisting that Clerks 3 would be his next film, and that he would retire from directing after completing it. It seems that the once and future Silent Bob spoke far too soon.
Back in October, Smith announced that he had completed work on the script for Clerks 3, but insisted that production on it would not go forward until after his forthcoming horror film Tusk was finished. With Tusk nearly wrapped and ready for a 2014 release, fans of Smith's "View Askewniverse" assumed that Clerks 3 would finally enter production. Unfortunately, they didn't count on the arrival of the Krampus.
Smith announced earlier this year that he had finished the script for a holiday horror film featuring the internet's favorite Christmas demon, the Krampus. Comes the Krampus will be an anthology horror movie in the style of the classic George Romero film Creepshow. Smith is set to direct only one of the segments, with some of his other usual collaborators (including Jason Mewes) helming the others.
Smith announced the delay during a Reddit AMA - where he explained his reasoning:
At this point in time, nobody but me can make a CLERKS film. But ANYONE can make a Krampus picture. So before anyone else does, I figured it’s time to keep moving forward: we’re gonna shoot COMES THE KRAMPUS in April, before CLERKS III.
For those unaware, the Krampus is a European mythical creature that is said to accompany Santa to the houses of children. If the children have been good, they get presents. If they've been bad, the Krampus kidnaps them, and takes them back to his lair for some good old fashioned torture. Comes the Krampus is scheduled to be shot over just 20 days, and will be produced on a budget of less than $3 million. Shooting will begin in April.
It's unlikely anyone really thought Smith would actually retire after directing what he calls his Cinema Paradiso, but these constant delays on the film are getting to be a bit much. It's been almost eight years since the idea of a Clerks 3 was first floated, and most fans did not expect it to take this long. Just because the first sequel took 12 years, doesn't mean this one has to do the same.
Still, Smith promises that he hasn't given up on Clerks 3:
CLERKS III is still coming. I love the script so much, I’ll make it happen, I promise. But the muse (and the Mewes) is pulling me away from something old for the moment and pulling me toward something new. And when the muse whispers, I listen. When the Mewes whispers, it’s just kinda creepy. And he spells s*** wrong – even though he’s just whispering and not writing.
It doesn't help that little is known about the Krampus idea. A holiday horror anthology film could be interesting, but Kevin Smith has a long history of underachieving whenever he steps outside of his comfort zone. Red State was decent at best, Jersey Girl was just okay, Zack and Miri was underwhelming, and the less said about Cop Out, the better.
Also going against Krampus is just how silly the whole thing sounds. The last time Kevin Smith got that silly, we were treated to the criminally unfunny Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, which admittedly Smith only wrote, not directed. I guess what I'm trying to say is, why not do Clerks 3 first, then move on to the wacky anthology movie that features a segment called Hitler's Krampus? Wouldn't that make more sense?
Clerks 3 is past the script stage, but currently has no start date for production. Comes the Krampus enters production this spring.