Kevin Smith updates Clerks III ahead of first test screenings, confirming the storefront sequel from Lionsgate will release sometime in 2022. After trimming the first cut from 1 hour and 48 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, Smith has shaved off another 11 minutes to ring up a current runtime of 1 hour 34 minutes. A second internal screening for Lionsgate, distributors on the New Jersey-shot sequel from SModcast Pictures and Smith's View Askew Productions, will take place before test audiences check out the closing chapter of Quick Stop clerks-turned-proprietors Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson).
"We are down to 1 hour 34 minutes. I have the titles in the opening sequence now, it was almost like a music video until now," Smith said on the latest episode of Fatman Beyond Live. After a late October second screening for Lionsgate brass, Smith said, "The screening after that will be the test screening that we do out in the real world."
Smith is now in the process of working through "wish list" music with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot music supervisor Aminé Ramer. "Most of the songs cost more than the entire of the budget of the first flick," Smith said of his 1994 low-budget original Clerks, "so we gotta pick and choose which songs we're gonna go with."
"It's real. This ain't no joke," Smith added of the long-gestating threequel that wrapped in August after filming for four weeks in Red Bank, New Jersey. "I'm very, very happy with it. I love it to death."
Smith estimates Lionsgate will release Clerks III in mid-to-late 2022.
"It's gonna be a minute before the rest of the world gets to see it. Clearly, it ain't gonna be out in 2021," he said. "Somewhere between mid-to-late 2022, I assume. I know nothing, I'm just assuming, because we'll be done by then. I think we do our sound mix in like the second half of July, and I think we deliver in March... that doesn't mean that the movie comes out in March, it just means, 'Here you go, Lionsgate, a completely finished movie.' When they come out with it, it's gonna be up to them."
The release date of Clerks III will "have a lot to do with that test screening that happens next month or so," Smith said. "Things are going along very f—ing well. I love the movie dearly. I watched it again this week from top-to-bottom...I was very, very happy with it. I can't wait to share it with you all, [but] it's gonna be a minute."
Starring Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fehrman, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jason Mewes as Jay, and Kevin Smith as Silent Bob, Clerks III releases in 2022 from Lionsgate.