In 1994 indie filmmaker Kevin Smith saw his buddy comedy “Clerks” released by Miramax. With its quirky humor and situations, the movie got positive reviews and a $3-million box office from a $27,575 budget, becoming a landmark indie success and spawning Smith’s cinematic setting, the View Askewniverse. Smith himself acted on the film alongside Jason Mewes as slacker-stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob, becoming recurring Askewniverse characters in “Mallrats” (1995), “Chasing Amy” (1997), “Dogma” (1999), their own self-titled installments and even “Clerks II” in 2006. Some 15 years after that film’s release, a new sequel from Kevin Smith is on the way courtesy of Lionsgate.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate will now take up the international distribution of “Clerks III,” the third film so titled in the Askewniverse comedy setting of director Kevin Smith, who is also writing the script. Smith issued a statement thanking Lionsgate for getting their independent production “back to where it started, and with the cast that started it all.” And this is no idle remark. The film reunites as many of the major cast of the original 1994 “Clerks,” who will be headed to New Jersey, same as the first time, when production begins in earnest this coming August.

Lionsgate executive VP for acquisition and co-productions Eda Kowan likewise acknowledged Smith’s indie film franchise in particular the first “Clerks,” which is already reserved for preservation in the National Film Registry since 2019. “The Clerks movies are audience favorites and many of Kevin’s films, like Dogma, Red State, and the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot are a beloved part of our library that continues to delight Kevin’s devoted fans,” says Kowan, who will be overseeing filming on behalf of Lionsgate. “We’re thrilled to be presenting the next chapter in the Clerks saga to moviegoers worldwide.”

Original “Clerks” cast Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson team up with “Clerks II” cast member Rosario Dawson and Askewniverse key stars Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes for another small-town misadventure at the Quick Stop convenience store of Leonardo, NJ. When longtime Quick Stop clerk Randall (Anderson) suffers a heart attack, he decides to have his life immortalized in film with the help of his co-workers…plus Jay and Silent Bob. Hilarity is expected to ensue. “Clerks III” has no release date.

Meanwhile, Smith has recently been busy with show-running and executive producing for “Masters of the Universe: Revelation,” a two-part Netflix animation limited series that is a direct sequel to the 1980s classic “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” based on the Mattel toy-line. Part 1 of the show is expected to premiere on Netflix streaming this Friday, July 23.

Image courtesy of Yahoo News