To benefit the First Avenue Playhouse, an ailing local theatre where Kevin Smith had held auditions for the original Clerks in the early '90s, the filmmaker will host a table read of Clerks III, his abandoned screenplay that would have been his next "View Askewniverse" film before Jay & Silent Bob Reboot came to pass. The film, originally in the works in 2015, never made it in front of the cameras after one of the actors (generally assumed to be Jeff Anderson, who plays Randal Graves in the films) declined to sign on. While Smith is likely to have used some of the ideas for Clerks III (as well as Mallrats 2, which was also in development for a while before falling through) in Reboot, this will be the first time the general public has had a chance to experience the Clerks III screenplay.
All that is the good news. The bad news? If you can't make it to North Jersey and pay $100 for seats, you are more or less out of luck -- and even if you meet those requirements, there are only 80 seats available. at the First Avenue Playhouse for the event. You can see Smith's announcement -- as well as a link to the ticket sales website -- below.
This August - in the great state of New Jersey! Come hear what might have been, when we read the unmade CLERKS III script! There are only 80 seats at a pricey $100 apiece, but all the money goes to The First Avenue Playhouse (it’s a Benefit for them)! Tix: https://t.co/yJMbZzs8c0 pic.twitter.com/fFeslWDMRf— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) July 15, 2019
The event says that Smith "and friends" will come to the Playhouse for the reading, but does not specify who will attend. Some of the original film's stars still live and work on the East Coast, so they seem like likely candidates -- and Ernie O'Donnell, who played Rick Derris in Clerks and was at one point considered for the role of Dante Hicks in the film, is the organizer of the event on EventBrite, where fans can learn a little more about the performance and purchase their tickets.
In 1994, future geek icon Smith launched his film career with Clerks, a black-and-white comedy film that centered on the lives of two store clerks: Dante and Randal. Smith was able to make his debut film on a meager budget of $27,575, which he scraped together by selling his comic book collection, maxing-out multiple credit cards, and using funds from an insurance payout and money set aside for a college education.
The cult hit went on to gross $3.2 million at the worldwide box office. Clerks spawned a sequel, a comic book series, an unaired live-action television series, a short-lived animated series, and was the first film in Smith's inter-connected universe.
Clerks 2 was released 11 years after the original. This time around, after the Quick Stop convenience store and the RST Video store burn down, Dante and Randal go to work a fast food restaurant. Their friendship is on the rocks since Dante is planning to move to Florida with his fiancée, whose father wants Dante to come work for him. However, Dante is in love with his manager, Becky (Rosario Dawson), who he knocked up after a night stand, and ends ups leaving his fiancée with her. Jay and Silent Bob use their Bluntman and Chronic royalties to allow Dante and Randal to buy and work at their old stores.