Kevin Smith is planning to move forward with Clerks 3 even though the Weinsteins have passed on funding the project’s $6 million budget, the cult favorite director said in an interview with Screen Daily while plugging his new movie Tusk.
Smith is most famous for the 1994 indie cult classic Clerks about a wayward group of young people who work at and hang out around a convenience store in New Jersey. The Weinsteins financed that movie, something Smith discusses in the Screen Daily interview. Smith’s eventual frustrations with how independent films are financed and promoted led to his long hiatus from the movie industry, which ended when a podcast inspired him to make Tusk.
“In 2011, when I walked away and said I was done making movies, I was absolutely frustrated with the financial process. It was mostly the marketing in terms of how ungodly expensive it had become to market a movie versus what it cost,” Smith said. “I think what it comes down to is that I had priced myself out of being creative.”
Smith is now calling Tusk, a horror film involving a man who wears a walrus suit, “honestly the best thing I have ever done — certainly the most interesting.”
Some had been hoping that Clerks 3 would be out in time for the first film’s 20th anniversary this fall, but a lack of funding seems to make the prospect of it being ready that soon unlikely. Smith seems undeterred about the movie’s prospects, though. When asked if the Weinsteins would be involved in Clerks 3, Smith responded: “No, they passed. I went in with a $6m budget and they were, like, ‘Oh no Kevin, this is too high.’ Bob offered us distribution but they weren’t going to finance it.”