Kevin Smith is ringing up the longest Clerks yet and teasing an adventure with "way more story to tell" in Clerks III. Weeks after wrapping production in New Jersey on the sequel to 1994's Clerks and 2006's Clerks II, Smith revealed the first cut of his "funny as f*ck and incredibly emotional" threequel came in at 1 hour and 48 minutes. Smith "surgically removed" another three minutes to cut Clerks III to 1 hour and 45 minutes, saying on the latest Fatman Beyond live stream that the longer runtime is not yet final and could change.
"I wanted to go as slow as I possibly could because once I edit it, that's it. I've been dreaming about this f*cker seven years, man, and once it's edited, it's like, 'Well, there it is,'" Smith said. "So you're caught between your head and your heart. Your head is like, 'Finish this f*cker.' But your heart is like, 'No! You just want it to go on forever and ever.' So finally, I ran out of footage to cut."
After trimming the first cut from 1 hour and 48 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, "I'm open to bringing it down further, but I think it's pretty f*cking tight now."
"The last one, Clerks II, was like an hour and 37, so we're only about eight minutes above. But where we go in the movie, and the adventure we go on, I think warrants the additional eight minutes," continued Smith. "That's me speaking as the filmmaker, and I'm sure between now and the time y'all see it, more time will likely come out. Because what I do is I watch it over and over again and tinker. And then I show it to people. If a line don't get a laugh, out it goes."
Clerks III reunites Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), who survives a heart attack and makes a movie about lives as clerks at the Quick Stop convenience store. Smith previously revealed parts of Clerks III were shot in black-and-white as a homage to Clerks and will recreate scenes from his career-jumpstarting movie.
"The premise of the movie, of course, is that they make a movie, so the movie they make is in black and white. The movie's in color, but [it's black and white] when they shoot their version of Clerks — which is called Inconvenience," Smith said on an August episode of Fatman Beyond. "That was the original title for Clerks. ... The black and white movie they're making is called Inconvenience, that's their version of Clerks. There's a lot of us replicating the scenes that you know insanely well from Clerks, and the beautiful thing is they're replicated with all the same people, and we're all so f*cking old."
Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fehrman, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Smith (as Silent Bob) and Jason Mewes (as Jay) also star. Clerks III has not announced a release date from Lionsgate.