Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

KEVIN SMITH JUST CAN’T MAKE UP HIS DAMN MIND, CLERKS III MIGHT BE A NOVEL NOW…

I have spoken a bit on my annoying film-student phase. Kevin Smith played a big ol’ part of that. Clerks was a centerpiece of that part of my life. That, along with Robert Rodriguez’ El Mariachi put the damn-fool idea in my head that anyone could make an independent film and make a name for themselves. Smith’s attachment to the nerd demographic made him a personal hero of mine. He was essentially doing everything I wanted to do. He was writing and directing films and scripting comics for DC and Marvel.

But somewhere around the release of Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Smith receded into himself and at the same time inflated his persona to the point where I can’t listen to him without getting slightly annoyed. His less-than-stellar creative output since then has only hastened his fall from grace in my perspective. I only say this so you can understand why when he talks about Clerks III, where five years ago I might have been excited, the current version of myself simply sighs and shakes his head.

Deadline spoke with Smith and he spoke a bit about what form a third Clerks might take.

Now, he said, he would prefer to write a book based on the two central Clerks characters, releasing it chapter by chapter. “I get to go inside the characters’ heads, tell Year One origin stories where the first chapter is Dante and Randall meeting in kindergarten, all the stuff I can’t do in a movie,” Smith said. “That’s what I want to do, because I’m a stoner. I want to investigate the inner life of every character, and I can’t do that in 90 minutes with a film.”

As someone who has moved his focus from writing screenplays into writing novels, I understand the allure of changing things up and moving into a different medium but at the same time Smith has also said he might do the third installment as a web-series or a live stage play. I really just don’t know what to make of all this because Smith has devolved into an entity that is hard to nail down. I don’t know if he ever actually will make the film because he seems so wrapped up and comfortable in is SMODcast empire that it would have to be something he is truly passionate about to get him working on it.

I would like to see Smith make his final film something personal, coming full circle with hisClerks franchise but I feel like the association to those characters has been so muddied by the other installments that whatever part three looks like, it will bear little resemblance to Smith’s debut. At this point I will just wait for some concrete news on what the damn thing will look like before I start to make any assumptions.

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