Clerks and Clerks II writer-director Kevin Smith wants to make Clerks III, but his script can’t be made into a film because one star doesn’t wish to return.
Asked if there would be a Clerks III during a Fat Man on Batman Q&A alongside Marc Bernardin in Prince George, British Columbia, Smith answered:
“There was going to be, I wrote it and I wanted to do it, but one of the cast didn’t want to do it and without that person we can’t make it, so no. So I might publish it as a comic book script instead.”
Smith named the uninterested party in a February 2017 episode of Fat Man on Batman, saying it was Jeff Anderson — who played rude and mouthy Quick Stop and RTS video store clerk-turned-Mooby’s clerk Randal Graves — who doesn’t want to do a third.
“You need four people to make a Clerks movie,” Smith says in the video.
“For a while, one of the clerks did not want to be involved. I wrote the script, he dug the script, he was just like, ‘Yeah, don’t wanna do it.’ It took me years to get him to a place where, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll do this.’ And then it looked like we were moving forward. We had loot for it. $8 million. That was the budget.”
But “two months before shooting, it fell apart,” Smith says.
“One of the four main characters did not want to be involved. It quickly spiraled out of control in a big, bad way, and wound up not happening and probably could never happen after the stream of events that hit a wall, and sometimes that’s a wall you can’t get over.”
Speaking to LRM Online in 2017, Smith said he “would love to” shoot Clerks III, saying, “I need the other guy to do that. We need Jeff Anderson, the guy that plays Randal, he’s not — he doesn’t want to do it.”
“So, yeah, sadly, that gets put to the side,” Smith said.
“I want it so badly but I can’t do it without him, it was written for him. But the Randal part is the whole movie, like it’s Randal’s flick. So unless he changes his mind — if and when he changes his mind, I doubt that’ll happen — then we can kind of move forward. I could never recast it, he is Randal, Jeff Anderson.”
The rights for the Clerks films were owned by disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein through The Weinstein Company, which has since been sold to a female-led investment company that plans to launch a female-led movie studio. In October, Smith vowed he would give all residuals from his Weinstein productions to women's charities.