At one point, Clerks III -- Kevin Smith's latest film, which hits Blu-ray and DVD today -- was going to be a very different movie. The original script for the film nearly went into production, and was even a polished enough script that there was a reading for charity at one point...but franchise star Jeff Anderson was not feeling it. Smith, saying that there was no Clerks without both Anderson and co-star Brian O'Halloran on board, shelved the project, then returned to it after having a heart attack that radically changed his perspective on life.
In Smith's new script, Randal (Anderson) suffers a heart attack, which motivates him to do something big and flashy with his life: he decides to make a movie in the convenience store. Yes, Kevin Smith made Clerks III a movie about making Clerks -- but with himself swapped out for Dante and Randal.
"When the new version came up, and I met with Kevin, we had a very informal meeting," Anderson told ComicBook.com. "He was very excited about the new premise and the new idea and when he pitched the new idea, it sounded really interesting to me. It sounded better than the original, which didn't quite work. I didn't think it sort of fit in the real Clerks world if there is a real Clerks world. But the new script sounded so much more personal to him. He was so much more excited about it, and when somebody is telling their story, and you feel it coming from them...I mean I'm always kind of the holdout, but I didn't want to be the guy that was going to quell his excitement about telling his story, and I did really very much like the idea. So it wasn't a very hard sell based on the new version, which is the version everybody's going to see."
The result was one of the best-reviewed movies of Smith's career among fans, with a 93% Rotten Tomatoes audience score. Seemingly closing out a Clerks trilogy (although O'Halloran holds out hope for more animated content), the movie was a reunion of sorts, bringing back numerous actors from the original Clerks who had not appeared, or at least had not had significant roles, in the years since.
Clerks III is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital.