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Kevin Smith is making a Clerks 2!


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Ten years after original, Kevin Smith plans 'Clerks' sequel

Monday, August 30, 2004 Posted: 9:32 AM EDT (1332 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Kevin Smith is making another convenience store run.

The writer-director of "Dogma," "Chasing Amy" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" told the Associated Press on Friday that he has begun work on a sequel to "Clerks," his homemade indie classic from 1994.

That $27,000 movie, shot at night in a store where Smith worked, chronicled the adventures of Dante and Randal, two guys who talk about life, death, sex and movies while working at neighboring stores.

The sequel picks up 10 years later.

"It's about what happens when that lazy, 20-something malaise lasts into your 30s. Those dudes are kind of still mired, not in that same exact situation, but in a place where it's time to actually grow up and do something more than just sit around and dissect pop culture and talk about sex," Smith said during an interview at his Hollywood office. "It's: What happened to these dudes?"

A new 10th anniversary DVD of "Clerks" debuts September 7, and Smith said working on that three-disc set inspired him to write about what became of those characters.

The sequel -- titled "The Passion of the Clerks" -- is set to begin shooting in January. Miramax Films, which turned the original into a cult-hit after buying it at the Sundance Film Festival, plans to distribute the follow-up.

"It's funny, it's very raw, insanely foul-mouthed. In many ways it's the antithesis of 'Jersey Girl,"' Smith said, referring to his recent PG-13 comedy with Ben Affleck as the widowed father of a little girl.

Smith is also writing the screenplay for a movie version of "The Green Hornet," but no longer thinks he will direct it. The "Clerks" movie has moved to the top of his to-do list.

He said he called Jeff Anderson, who played the combative video-store worker Randal, and Brian O'Halloran, who was the besieged-by-strangeness convenience store employee Dante, to run the idea by them first.

"Jeff was actually very protective of 'Clerks,"' Smith said. "Jeff was like, 'Are you sure you want to do this? That movie means a lot to people and do you want to go back?' I thought about it honestly, and it would seem chicken to not give it a shot just because I'm afraid of (messing) with the first film."

So far, he said he has gotten only positive responses from the people who have read the script, so he decided to move forward with it. Both O'Halloran and Anderson are signed on, and Jason Mewes, will return as stoner Jay, the "hetero life-mate" of Smith's stoic Silent Bob.

"I'm sure there will be naysayers who say, 'Oh my God, it's an opportunistic grab at a buck,' but it's not. We're doing it for nothing," Smith said. "We're going to do it insanely inexpensively. The budget will be somewhere between 250 grand and $5 million."

The original was shot pre-dawn, and most of the actors worked for free and then went straight to their day-jobs with little or no sleep.

"This time around we'll afford ourselves the luxury of nice 12-hour days," Smith said. "And people can get paid."

Some notes about C2 from Kevin,posted on the boards at Viewaskew.com

Quote:

- This isn't gonna be a cameo-heavy affair, a'la "Strike Back." The only returning characters are Dante and Randal, and Jay and Silent Bob.

- This isn't gonna be a star-studded affair. The biggest names in the cast are gonna be Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, and Jason Mewes.

- This isn't an "I'm not even supposed to be here today... AGAIN!"-heavy, wink-wink affair. We barely refer to the first flick (though I do love Lynch's proposed tagline of "They Still Don't Like You"; considering the tone of the script, an even more appropriate tagline would be "They Like You Even Less").

- Jay and Silent Bob have about as much screen time as they had in "Clerks." This is Dante and Randal's flick all the way.

- The title makes sense. Sure, there's a bit of cheekiness in there, but it's pretty appropriate, based on the material.

- This is the funniest thing I've ever written. It's also really poignant.

- We'll still be making a "Clerks" cartoon movie, separate of this.

- This is not a grab at the green. Saying so is kinda laughable, if you're privy to what I make per film now, vs. what I'll make for this film. Part of the idea about doing "Passion" is to strip away the trappings of success we've been enjoying for the last few years, in an effort to get to the raw and pure. None of us are making our usual salaries on this flick; we're all doing it favored-nations style, with deferments. If the flick does well, we'll get paid our full-freight on the back-end. If not, we did it for the love. But if I was "all about the green", I'd be gearing up for "Hornet" or "Fletch" instead. This one's about the passion; the passion of the "Clerks."

- Some of the key players from the "Clerks" saga who've already read the 143 page first draft: Mos, Jeff, Brian, John Pierson, Bob Hawk. Jay's reading the new, refined 119 page second draft this week. Once they were all on board, any doubt or hesitation I might've felt about monkeying with the original's legacy disappeared completely.

- This isn't about "Jersey Girl." While disappointed that we didn't do double the theatrical business we crawled to, I understand why what happened to that flick happened (considering how poorly "Gigli" did, I consider us kinda lucky that we got to 25m). If this is a reaction to anything, it's more of a reaction to "Green Hornet", and the trajectory my budgets have been taking lately. Before (and if) I direct "Hornet", I wanted to do something small and more me-like. While working on the "Clerks X" dvd, it became clear to me that "Passion" was the way to go.

- We almost did this flick three years ago, instead of "Strike Back." I'm glad we didn't, because I was able to say much more now than I would've then.

- There are gonna be lots of folks expressing disappointment or downright hostility with the idea of this movie. Let 'em vent. If it's all that bad, Xtian will just sweep it off the board. But the last thing I'm interested in is opinions on what I'm doing this early in the process, if at all. The beauty of making that first flick was being able to do it in a vacuum. Granted, I could've kept my mouth shut about it 'til we were done shooting; but with "Clerks X" coming out, it just felt right to share. Regardless - I don't want folks running here with reports of what's being said about the idea of this film at other boards. Don't waste your/my time with the braying of the jackasses. There's not even a movie to bray about yet. Once there is, if you still still feel the need to tell me what some random, knuckle-headed Talk Backer has to say about the finished product, then God bless. But until then, leave it in the locker room.

- Oh, who am I kidding? This flick makes me so happy, I'm not even bothered by the bitching (could still be even happier without it, though). I'm in love with this flick. If other folks aren't, I can't really say I'm concerned. I've read the script; they haven't. I have the benefit of insight into the flick beyond the title and the notion of it; they don't. The reaction is pretty much what I thought it'd be: a ton of positive, and minimal amount of bitching. Even if the equation was reversed, I'd still feel as good as I do now.

- At this point in my life, this flick makes absolute fu©king sense.

- I can't wait to shoot it, and I can't wait 'til you all see it.

Added 8/29

-------------

- That storyline about Dante and Randal shooting a movie about working at the Quick Stop is the plot of the "Clerks" CARTOON movie. It's secure. The plot of "PotC" is something completely different.

- The flick does NOT employ the tone of the "Clerks" cartoon. It's OG "Clerks" all the way.

- The flick's in both black & white and color.

- Having not seen "South Park" since season two (unless you count the movie), I was unaware they did an episode called "The Passion of the Jew." I don't know how (or if) this info will effect our title.

- There will be no "reunions" or "crossovers" in the flick. Again - the only characters returning are Dante, Randal, Jay, and Bob.

More info when the questions pile up...

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