Clerks III Is Based on Kevin Smith’s Real-Life Heart Attack

Clerks 3 will be inspired by Kevin Smith’s near-fatal heart attack. The director/writer is currently out doing press for Jay & Silent Bob Reboot.

Smith fans were ecstatic to learn that Jeff Anderson had agreed to come on board for the highly anticipated sequel to Clerks after he and the director had been estranged for many years. For a long time, it looked like Anderson was never coming back and the original story for Clerks 3 reflected that and also took on a very dark tone. However, that has all changed now.

Kevin Smith nearly died of a heart attack in early 2018 and has since made some huge life changes. For one, he dropped a ton of weight and stopped smoking cigarettes. Secondly, he started to mend relationships that had gone south over the years, mainly, and publicly, with Ben Affleck and Jeff Anderson. This is what sets the stage for the new Clerks 3 storyline. Smith explains.

“Randal has a heart attack, decides that he came so close to death, and his life has meant nothing, there’s nobody to memorialize him, he has no family or anything like that. And in the recovery, while under fentanyl, he comes to the conclusion at mid-life, having almost died, having worked in a movie store his whole life and watched other people’s movies, he tells Dante, I think we need to make a movie. So Dante and Randal make Clerks. That’s the story of Clerks 3.”

The new idea for Clerks 3 sounds like a perfect idea for Dante and Randal after all of these years. For those thinking that the sequel will be too heartfelt, Kevin Smith says, “it’s funny and poignant, but it’s more funny than anything else.” This is Smith we’re talking about here, along with Jeff Anderson, so we can pretty much already hear the dialogue writing itself right now. Smith had this to say about the writing process.

Related: Lisa Spoonauer, Star of Kevin Smith’s Clerks, Passes Away at 44

“I’m going to bring my boys right back to where they brought me. I’m writing it, it writes itself because I f**king lived it 25 years ago. It’s just warm and f**king wonderful. They’re figuring it out the same way I figured it out, but I have the benefit of being able to cherry pick all my favorite stories and moments of making Clerks and putting it right back into their hands.”

Clerks 3 was originally going to be a lot different than it is now. Kevin Smith and some of the cast did a table read in New Jersey this past August, so some lucky fans were able to visualize what the movie was going to be. After his health scare and reuniting with Jeff Anderson, the new story just seemed to fall into place and took a much lighter tone this time around. Smith had this to say.

“That was a movie that was written by a guy who was obsessed with middle-aged and dying, and it was all about death. And that was before I almost died. Then I almost died, and now I don’t really want to talk about that sh*t. I’ve been too close. Now I just want to do life affirming things. The tone is going to shift completely. I owe those guys, those characters, Dante and Randal, a lot more than the kind of doom and gloom I was about to put them through. I loved that script, and I loved reading it, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the house for the last 15 pages, the last 15 minutes of that entire read.”

Kevin Smith’s Jay & Silent Bob Reboot isn’t even out in theaters yet and he’s already hard at work on Clerks 3. This is very much how Smith operates and one can imagine he’ll have cameras rolling as soon as he gets done with the Jay & Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow early next year. The interview with Kevin Smith was originally conducted by The Wrap.