Kevin Smith Outlines Original ‘Clerks III’ Script

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The original version was set in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The long-awaited third film in filmmaker Kevin Smith’s irreverent Clerks series is set to premier in theaters on September 13 for a limited run. Ahead of the public premier, a special screening of the film was shown this week at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood. Prior to this event, Smith himself spoke about how much the film had changed since its original conception. In fact, his original version of the script was much different.

“It opened on the evening of Hurricane Sandy,” Smith told The Hollywood Reporter. “Dante and Randal were locked in a jail because the original version of Clerks III was the opening of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot where the cops come in and bust Jay and Silent Bob. All of them were arrested and there’s an interrogation scene and somebody comes in and says, ‘We gotta get ‘em out and put them in cells because it’s coming.’ And [the guys] are like, ‘What’s coming?’ ‘They’re calling it Sandy.’ They were locked in a cell all night long and they get out in the morning to find that the Quick Stop was destroyed by a flood.”

The film would then go on to become a strange, almost post-apocalyptic setting, which Smith realized was too different from the original Clerks paradigm. “It was so far-flung from Clerks,” he explained. “Mercifully, we never made it. And then suddenly, I had the heart attack and was like, oh, that would be a good backbone for this movie.”

Smith experienced a heart attack in 2018, which according to him, gave him the inspiration necessary to rework the film. “It felt like Clerks III had to be at Quick Stop where it all began,” Smith explained. “That was able to feed everything else and once I gave Randal my heart attack, it was like, well, we will give him the movie as well. Then we were off to the races.”

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