Kevin Smith announces that his final directorial effort will be Clerks 3

We knew this was coming, but I didn't think it would make me this sad. Kevin Smith, who has been talking about his retirement for a while now, has announced that his final film will be a second sequel to his first film, 1994's Clerks. The news comes after his intended swan song, the two-part hockey movie Hit Somebody, was set to become a six-part television miniseries. No news yet on which channel might host Hit Somebody. Some are guessing AMC, where Comic Book Men resides, but considering Smith's generous amounts of colorful language, I'm thinking somewhere premium would work best -- who wants to watch censored Kevin Smith? (Not a lot of people, judging by the short life of ABC's Clerks: The Animated Series -- but don't rule out a possible return for that. coughcough::get on it, Adult Swim::coughcough)

Smith's retirement will be a bummer, considering he just proved he has stories like Red State up his sleeve; it's sad to think he won't try to do something else out of the box. (Insert dirty Chasing Amy joke here.) No additional information is out yet about Clerks 3, but watch for more rumblings next year. I hope Matt Damon and Ben Affleck come back for this (if they don't do Hit Somebody, that is).

Kevin Smith Is Heading Back To The Quick Stop One More Time!! [Ain't It Cool News]



    1. There are elements in the third plot that are great, but they comprise about a grand total of the three minute climactic action.

      But boy, is it a slog to get there.  I’d have to go with no.

    2. It has its moments.  If Dogma struck you as more than just a largely wasted opportunity, you might dig it.

      But it’s no Chasing Amy.  It’s not even a Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

        1. I’d like anything with Linda Fiorentino in it. It’s a shame that she doesn’t really work anymore.

    3. Frankly, I thought Clerks 2 hit it out of the park and is Smith’s best movie on a character level.

      I’m very surprised by the Nay votes. I personally don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it and most of my friends have seen it.

      1. Agree, but there’s so much that drags it down.  The Lord of the Rings guy who comes in, the comic relief in the new guy, Jay being, well, Jay, Randall still being a jerk.  Rosario Dawson is great and Brian O’Halloran does what he can to keep up, but it could have been so much better with some tighter editing. 

        The climatic end scene is such an amazing pile-on of brilliance (the fire chief’s reaction to Randall’s shirt) that the rest of the movie stumbles up to instead of crescendos at.  If you weren’t a big enough fan to watch it when it came out I just think you wouldn’t be impressed by it now.

      2. The problem with Clerks 2 is that is wasn’t as good as the original and sort of spoils it. The same can be said of The Godfather Pt. 3. It was a bad movie but it wasn’t like the others which are arguably the two greatest films of all time.

    4. I’m a fan of Clerks and its spinoffs.  Didn’t bother with 2 at first because I assumed it would suck, but when I finally saw it, I liked it.  meh, it made me laugh.  a lot. I’m a big Randal fan, and he’s featured prominently again, which the spinoffs were lacking, I felt.

  1. While I’ll ‘fess up to personal ignorance, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard reliable reports that Red State was a nigh-unwatchable mess.  ( this is my source,  Subjective, of course )

    1. I’m not sure I liked it either, but that review was pathetic. He’s practically stamping his feet, screaming “How dare Kevin Smith defy convention and my expectations!”

      1. I really enjoyed Red State, a lot! Tense, comic relief, stickin it to the man, stickin it to the zealots, and a polished effort of a matured writer/director.

        My favorite movies end up being the ones I can ponder over for days, and this movie provided me with many things to think about.

        (Just finished listening to the review… I think it is important to know the audience of a critic to really understand where the critic is coming from. For example, this site looks like it is devoted to the big budget popcorn munching crowds that mindlessly pay for Battleship, Resident Evil, Twilight, etc. And that is why he isn’t impressed with Red State, being a much more artistic en devour, the fans of Total Recall are probably not going to enjoy it either. The one thing I don’t understand is why he is trying to fit a round Kevin Smith peg into a square Hollywood director hole, but for his kind of thinking, it really doesn’t matter anyway.)

        1. Whoa, man.  I mean, it’s fine if you don’t agree with the critic and all but in trying to explain why your viewpoints don’t mesh you make some assumptions about the critic and the people who visit the site which strike me as pretty slapdash.  Normally I’d shrug and move on, but you countered the most heinously awful movies!  :)

          And again, it’s ok if you don’t agree with him but honestly I wouldn’t want my posting something someone else did to actively drive traffic away from a site.  

, opening line :”Battleship is pretty much as bad as everyone said it was going to be all along.”

          “The scariest thing about the Resident Evil movies is that they seem to be getting better.  Which is not to say that they have gotten somewhere close to good yet.”

          “The sheer magnitude of [the Twilight series’s] popularity coupled with the fascinating psycho-sexual implications churning beneath its surface rendering easily one of the most interesting pop-culture diversions in recent memory.  Too bad it sucks! … the whole thing is just [bleep]ing awful.”  (Twilight predated vids on this site, so that’s for New Moon.  Still, you grok the general slant of his opinion)

          There’s stuff he likes, too – reviews for District 9, Cabin in the Woods, etc.  Anyway, thanks and maybe I’ll watch Red State sometime because of your enthusiasm.

    2. I can aver that “Red State was a nigh-unwatchable mess.”

      Had some interesting scenes, but overall, it was just terrible.  The actors did their best, but the script sabotaged their efforts.

      The film is the physical manifestation of a director “phoning it in.”

    3. The studio bagged the intended ending.  The released version is like a joke without the punchline.  It doesn’t really matter if the telling of the joke is any good or not, if there’s no sensible ending.

  2. Good news for me.  I much prefer Kevin’s talks over his films.  Hopefully, he’ll do more talks now.

    1. I’ve never been quite clear on exactly what he does, really.  He doesn’t seem to have been especially productive as a director; I mostly see his name in conjunction with some kind of story about comics or another.

    2. Yeah, he’s a great raconteur. The qualities that make it very easy to sit and listen to him ramble tend to make his films a bit snoozy.

  3. “I’m retiring!  I’m never going to do X again!”

    I hate that shit.  It’s code for: my accountant gamed out the scenarios, and he calculates that skipping one tour and then calling the _next_ tour a “reunion” tour will actually net more money than running two tours.

    Don’t want to direct a movie next year? Don’t direct a movie next year. “If you don’t want to be seen/You don’t have to hide”.

    Speaking of which, Soundgarden has a new album.

    1. I don’t think directors have comeback tours.  I think he’s just been jaded about the distribution system for some time and is tired of fighting the power as best he can. 

      Like Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster, he tried to make things a little better by trying something different and nobody else went with him.  Unlike Pearl Jam, he’s going to just work on different projects instead.

      As long has his amazing dialogue is out there in some form (comics, screenwriter, novelist, whatever) I’m fine with it.  Not that he asked me.

        1. I don’t think he’ll get paid twice as much and I certainly don’t think the tickets for his movies will be more expensive than if he’d done one in between. 

          That’s the deal with movie tickets, same price no matter the show.  A Nolan movie costs me as much as a first time director of a buddy cop movie. 

          His accountant should be fired if he thinks that Smith taking time off from directing is going to drive his stock up.  What would have driven up his stock is if he HADN’T done every other movie.  Unless you’re a big Mallrats fan.

          1. I admit: I liked Mallrats slightly more than Clerks 2.

            But I’m nobody’s arbiter of taste.

          2. Well yeah, but between those two you’re really just fighting for the bottom of the barrel.  Mallrats is saved by Jason Lee knocking it out of the park.

    2. “It’s code for: my accountant gamed out the scenarios.”

      That’s… a lot of extrapolation for a very small amount of information about Kevin Smith and the actual circumstances around this. Are you really asserting there’s anything near a one-to-one correspondence, where it’s never anything but a code?

      I would need some specific evidence before I’d go for that. Otherwise, we’ve got no way to distinguish your authentic insight into the psychology of celebrities from ordinary sour grapes, or accumulated bitterness from specific celebrities “doing this” to you as their fan.

      Just sayin’.

      1. In seriousness, it’s not extrapolation.  It’s the fact that the statement itself is pompous and idiotic.  When someone retires from working down at the plant it doesn’t guarantee that they won’t actually go back to work there at some point, but it’s unlikely and there are a number of significant finanancial and legal ramifications from the standpoint of their employment contract, retirement plan (if they come from the pre-Reagan era), etc.

        When a celebrity in early middle age “retires” it means nothing, and generally less than nothing except that the want to make some kind of statement.  And then, more often than not, it turns out to not be true.

        1. You make a good point , but maybe he just wants to make it clear to his unrelenting fans he is walking away from the game with nothing on the horizon at this point.

  4. He only meant to make one film, but once he got going the whole thing kind of snowballed.

    Best response I’ve seen so far:
    “My director made thirty-seven Clerks!” 
    “In a row??”

    1. That’s unfair.  He’s certainly not as good as a great many people out there, but I’ve seen some horrible directors.  He can at least write good dialogue and make his actors sell it to you.  Just because he can’t move a camera around as well shouldn’t make him horrible.  Lucas can move it around like gangbusters but can’t get his actors to say anything convincingly or even act, but I wouldn’t call him horrible either.

      Now Uwe Boll, there’s a horrible director.

      1. If he can write good dialogue, which I don’t disagree with you about, he’s a good writer, not a good director.  When I think “actors selling dialogue to me” I don’t think Kevin Smith directed movies.

        Yes, he’s better than Uwe Boll.  He’s probably better than McG too.  But I never want to see a Kevin Smith directed movie.  Better?

        1. I think he’s good at directing actors, terrible about the camera portion of things.  This probably has something to do with his DP as well.  But I didn’t say that him stepping away from directing is a bad thing either you may note…

          1. That’s a good point, I think.  His filming technique is pretty uninspired, but his dialogue usually sounds pretty easy and natural coming out of his cast (even though he DOES tend to have the weakness of writing all his characters to talk like Kevin Smith).  He’s good at working with people.

  5. Dude is 42, and has the resources to do what he likes for a while. If indeed he does retire, he potentially has decades in which to ponder whether he indeed prefers retirement, or wants to try his hand at filmmaking again. It seems rather premature to slap the label “final” on anything he does.

  6. The blame for the failure of Clerks: The Animated Series is on ABC. They aired two episodes out of order and then cancelled it. It’s actually quite a good show.

        1. You won’t know if the midgets in your life are Manifest, or the machinations of Leonardo Leonardo! Or… a… third thing. 

  7. The Kevin Smith haters are many, and their ranks have grown in the last 10 or so years.  Although I will agree he has never produced a movie that was a true masterpiece in every aspect of film making, all of his movies (except Cop Out, but he didn’t write that one) have had redeeming qualities and memorable dialog at least for people who are of relatively the same vintage as Kevin.  Lines from his movies have become part of my language and, when recognized by others, a signal that I am talking to someone who has a similar sense of humor and possibly shared life experiences.  I even liked Jersey Girl–it wasn’t Kevin’s fault that it was released during the peak of Affleck backlash. 

    And, in my opinion, Clerks 2 is worth seeing for the Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars dialog alone.  Yes, plot is not always his strong point, but I’m willing to forgive that when the dialog is so funny, characters so original and genuine, and the verbal storytelling so good.

    1. So I guess we “haters” should stop having high (or any) expectations. It’s our, the audience’s, fault for seeing Smith’s underlying talent and being disappointed when he doesn’t follow through on it.

      We should be satisfied with a few zingers and several interludes of witty dialogue that don’t otherwise cohere with the movie they are placed in.

    2. To be fair, a lot of us only hate because we once loved and were disappointed. Repeatedly. But we clutch onto our fond memories which keeps us from forgetting him altogether and we lash out against him, hoping perhaps against all hope that he will take notice of the pain in our hearts and learn to actualize his talents in a practical manner next time.

  8. A pity, as Disney should hire him to direct a Star Wars film or two, the ones dealing with the contractors who did the drywall, plumbing and fixtures on the Death Stars.  Sorta like HGTV, Death Star Crashers.

  9. AMC is the network that airs The Walking Dead, censorship is not something you can label them with. I’m sure they will have no issue at all airing every dirty word Smith writes.

    1. Well, bullshit.

      AMC has really pushed the envelope in terms of violent and disturbing content for basic cable TV, but they still don’t let you say “fuck”.  Yes, that’s a frankly absurd standard for where to draw the line — “Horrible, deplorable violence is fine, as long as there are no naughty words,” as the South Park movie put it — but, well, welcome to American TV.  Including basic cable.

  10. And remember when Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was going to be the last movie in the View Askew series?

    I’m not saying Kevin Smith doesn’t mean it.  I’m just saying I’m not sure he’ll still mean it in a few years.

    At any rate, it seems to me that a guy like him can really blaze a trail with original Internet content.  He doesn’t like the Hollywood distribution system?  Can’t say I blame him.  But he’s proven he can make a memorable film on a shoestring budget.  I’d love to see him try his hand at a distribution model like Dr. Horrible used, or like Louis CK and other assorted standup comics have been using for their acts.

    The original Clerks had a budget of, what, $30K?  I’m betting Smith could put together a perfectly satisfying 90-minute film for a million dollars, sell it for $5-$10 a download, and turn a profit.

  11. Kevin Smith is mediocre at best. Clerks was great, loved it but Mallrats, Red State, Jay and Silent Bob SB, Dogma just highlighted his weaknesses. I’ll give Red State it’s due the first half was incredibly tense and scary and yes the second half was refreshingly different although a mess. By the end though I wondered what the f**k I’d just seen.

  12. There’s an exercise for Superman writers called “try telling a story without kryptonite”.  For Kevin Smith, it should be, “try telling a story that doesn’t involve the anus”.  When they both succeed, the stories are good.  But they often get lazy and we wind up with the same story we’ve heard a hundred times.

  13. Clerks was fresh, original, even seminal. (though a fair bit of that might have had to do with my age at the time)

    Since then, every time Smith disappoints his fans, it’s like he runs back to this franchise to try to redeem some of his rumpled cred. Of course he’s going to call it his “final” film because he wants to go out on a good note.

    Blaming distribution, theaters, the MPAA for your own shortcomings isn’t a get-out-of-creativity card either. Because NOBODY likes those entities, neither consumers nor prosumers. 

    Feel free to disagree, but all I can see here is Smith taking (what he perceives as) an easy road.

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