Kevin Smith’s recent horror feature Tusk might have failed to win over critics or attract much of an audience, but it did succeed in one very significant way: It allowed the filmmaker to secure funding for a third Clerks movie.
During a recent episode of his “Hollywood Babble-On” podcast, Smith revealed that Tusk had enabled him to find a financier for Clerks III, which he had been struggling to arrange for several years now after The Weinstein Company passed on the project a while back. The Clerks franchise follows a pair of slackers played by Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson who deal with the minutiae of life in minimum-wage jobs while interacting with a bizarre cast of supporting characters (including spinoff stars Jay and Silent Bob).
“Tusk was the absolute bridge to Clerks III,” said Smith on the podcast. “Because of Tusk I got my financing for Clerks III. A year and change ago I was desperately trying to get Clerks III made for the 20th anniversary and that desperation — I must have reeked of it because I couldn’t f–king find money and shit. But it was Tusk, people going ‘Holy f–k, what else do you have?’ and I was like ‘Clerks III‘ and they’re like, ‘Done.'”
“So, everybody that’s like, ‘He failed, he failed,’ I’m like ‘Thank you, I failed into Clerks III,'” he added.
The original Clerks, released in 1994, was the film that made Smith one of Hollywood’s rising stars. It took over a decade for the sequel to be released due to Smith working on various other projects (including 1997’s Chasing Amy and 1999’s Dogma), and the 2006 film failed to find the warm reception that its predecessor enjoyed. Still, the franchise has become a cult favorite among fans, and even spawned a short-lived animated series.
Smith didn’t mention any timetable for Clerks III, but various reports suggest a 2016 release for the film seems likely.