After a decade of delays, Kevin Smith has finally completed the great independent film trilogy, and now we will finally get to see how capable the emotionally stagnant Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and the verbally vulgar Randal (Jeff Anderson) are with their veiled talents. Of course Jay and Silent Bob will be just outside, and basically in their business right next door: a now legal, recreational marijuana dispensary that has replaced the video store — that’s if they got all the correct permits.
From Clerks 2 returns Dante’s wife Becky Scott (Rosario Dawson), and the humble, but naive coworker Elias Grover (Trevor Fehrman). Though the two characters, Dante and Randal, were the ones who started Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, they’ve only made cameos in The Jay and Silent Bob films. But it’s simple, these two characters represent most of the population of humanity: living uninteresting, mundane lives, but more alive, and thought provoking than the richest people on the planet.
Back in 2013 Kevin Smith said he had finished writing a script for Clerks 3, but he could not start filming it, because one actor refused to do it. I’ve looked up Kevin Smith’s original storyline for that draft of Clerks 3, and though it may only be rumor, what I read did not make any sense for what Clerks is all about. The story was Dante’s wife is killed by accident when Jay and Silent Bob were breaking into the Quick Stop. Dante is later diagnosed with cancer. And Randal, for some odd reason, has a Quick Stop stand in the parking lot outside a movie theater selling stuff from the store.
After reading this version of the screenplay I just described, Jeff Anderson who plays Randal refused to do it. And you know what, he was right; that kind of storyline for a Clerks 3 is not in the spirit of these two wonderful characters, Dante and Randal, or even Jay and Silent Bob. Imagine having the talented Rosario Dawson introduced beautifully in the View Askewniverse, only to have her character dead in the follow-up.
Of all people, Jeff Anderson A.K.A. Randal saved Clerks 3 from being too dark for its own good. And also the fact Kevin Smith surviving a heart attack back in 2018 changed his approach to the story in Clerks 3. Randal has a heart attack when he’s Fifty years old inside the Quick Stop, and decides to make a movie about working in the Quick Stop. It’s a tale that comes full circle. A story of hope. A message to all aspiring artists that it’s never too late to walk away from behind the cash register, and bring in a camera to make a movie. People have complained that the trailer makes the movie look corny, but the thing is it’s from the dirty-mouth Writer/Director Kevin Smith, and the trailer is the cleanest version of the film.