Kevin Smith has been largely doin' his own thang ever since his 2010 film Cop Out, creating and funding his own films (Red State, Tusk) and otherwise going multimedia by adapting a show off his famous SModcast website into the AMC series Comic Book Men (to name a few ventures).
As Smith has navigated the newer paths of entertainment, he's been as outspoken and connected to his fans as ever - and those fans have not forgotten the original work that put Smith on the map (Clerks) and the long-awaited third installment to the series (Clerks III).
Halfway through summer 2014 we learned that The Weinsteins had passed funding on Clerks 3, despite being backers of Clerks II (they will distribute the threequel, though). After that, Smith declared that the film would press forward and that funding would be found - and apparently, that's exactly what's happening.
On his "Hollywood Babble-On" show, Smith claimed that the supposed financial failure of his horror/comedy Tusk had a fortunate byproduct: it secured the necessary funding of Clerks III.
As transcribed by The Wrap, Smith had the following to say:
“A year and change ago I was desperately trying to get ‘Clerks III’ made for the 20th anniversary and that desperation — I must have reeked of it because I couldn't f–king find money and shit. But it was ‘Tusk,’ people going ‘Holy f–k, what else do you have?’ and I was like ‘Clerks III’ and they're like ‘done'. So, everybody that's like, ‘He failed, he failed,’ I'm like ‘Thank you, I failed into doing ‘Clerks III.'”
Showbiz can often be all about momentum, and so long as an actor or director is doing something that's getting attention, they have a certain amount of clout to work with. For all his box office struggles (Red State and Tusk didn't even reach the $2 million mark), Smith has stayed relevant as a public figure and geek icon; it's not all that surprising that someone is willing to invest in what is probably the most promising property he has in hand. (Clerks II made $26 million on a $5 million budget, so Pt. 3 is not exactly a huge risk.)
Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson are expected to return as lead characters Dante and Randal - with Jason Mewes and Smith himself back as Jay and Silent Bob. When last we left the gang, Dante and Randal did some growing up, having rebuilt and taken ownership of the Quick Stop and RST Video. Dante had proposed to Rosario Dawnson's Becky (who was pregnant with his child) and Jay and Silent Bob's investment in the Quick/RST venture secured them a guaranteed spot to forever loiter in. All seemed right in the world.
Presumably the threequel will follow things into the thrills, woes and hijinks of parenting and getting older, while a new (and strange) generation pops up under you. Where is RST Video in the age of digital downloads and online streaming services?
We'll keep you updated on when Kevin Smith starts production on Clerks III - as well as any release date information.