Kevin Smith has been working on some version of Clerks III since at least 2017, and now it looks like he’s finished the first draft. To be clear: this is a new first draft because back in 2017, the filmmaker said he had already finished a different script for the film. Smith took to Instagram to post a snippet of the new script’s first page, and while it really doesn’t tell us much, it’s bound to interest fans.

Behold, part of the first page of the Clerks III script!

The page cuts off before we get anywhere, really, but at least we now know that main character Dante is back, he’s headed to the Quick Stop, and I guess he’s also listening to My Chemical Romance? Anyway, there you have it. As you may recall, Clerks II ended with Dante and his side-kick Randal purchasing the Quick Stop, the store we first met them at in the first Clerks. Clerks II opened with the Quick Stop burning down, leading Dante and Randall to take gigs at the fast-food joint Mooby’s. At some point during Clerks II, the Quick Stop (and its neighboring store RST Video) were rebuilt, allowing Dante and Randal to return in the final moments.

The new script page came with the following message from Smith:

I started writing CLERKS III on December 28th and just finished the 101 page first draft last night! But the writing doesn’t begin when you start tapping the keys: I’ve been stirring this stew in my brain pan for awhile now. So when I sat down to put years of daydreaming into actual words, the typing part of the writing process was pretty brisk. Fake New Jersey (or what I’ve long called the View Askewniverse) has been so much more preferable to visit than the real world lately – but I’ve told the tale I wanted to tell, so it’s time to step back, hand the script off to a trusted few, and then tinker further based on the feedback. For those keeping score anymore, this is actually Clerks III v.2. I had written a different version of Clerks III about 6 years back – one which I’m now very happy we never made (although I used the opening scene for @jayandsilentbob Reboot). This is a much more personal story than the previous incarnation, drawing directly on the heart attack that nearly killed me (3 years ago next month). It was oddly triggering writing those scenes, as it was the first time in awhile I contemplated how close I came to shuffling lose this mortal coil. But far more than make me mindful of my own mortality, this script to Clerks III makes me laugh out loud. Dante, Randal, Elias, Becky, Jay and Silent Bob are all back, and the premise of the flick allows anyone who was in Clerks or Clerks II to return in some capacity. After a bummer of a 2020, this is how I want to spend some of 2021: at @quickstopgroceries in New Jersey where it all began, with friends and family. And when we finally roll cameras on Clerks III, I will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I *am* supposed to be there that day!

As Smith notes, this isn’t the first time he’s attempted to write Clerks III. Back in 2017, the filmmaker said he had a script for a third film ready to go. However, the entire project fell apart when Jeff Anderson, the actor who plays Randal, declined to return. By 2019, however, Anderson was back on board, and the sequel was back on track, with Smith saying: “It’ll be a movie that concludes a saga. It’ll be a movie about how you’re never too old to completely change your life. It’ll be a movie about how a decades-spanning friendship finally confronts the future.”

Back in the days of my wild youth, Kevin Smith’s movies were a big deal. I loved pretty much everything he did, from Clerks through even Clerks II. However, the older I got, the less enamored I became with Smith’s work. In short, it aged poorly for me, and I’ve never felt much urge to revisit any of it. But Smith has a loyal fanbase and I’m sure plenty of those folks are itching to return to this world and these characters, so all of this will no doubt be good news for them.

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