It has literally been more than seven years since we first started talking about Kevin Smith going back to the Quick Stop to make “Clerks III.” Well, after a number of false starts, it appears the gang is getting back together officially for “Clerks III,” which is heading into production later this summer.

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According to Lionsgate, the studio has given the green light to “Clerks III,” the newest tale from writer-director Kevin Smith. And to get fans excited, the film will see the return of all the “Clerks” cast including Jeff Anderson as Randal, Brian O’Halloran as Dante, Jay Mewes as Jay, Kevin Smith as Silent Bob, and Rosario Dawson as Becky (who appeared in “Clerks II”). The sequel takes place years after the last film and finds Randall recovering from a massive heart attack and recruiting his buds to make a movie about his time at the convenience store.

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“There’s a saying from the Tao that goes something like ‘To be great is to go on. To go on is to go far. To go far is to return.’ Thanks to Lionsgate, we get to return to where it all started with almost the whole cast that started it all!” said an enthusiastic Smith. “And for the first time since the first time we ever made a movie in 1993, we’re shooting the entire flick on location in New Jersey, as an ode to both the enduring allure of cinema and the resourcefulness and lunacy of its storytellers. Years ago, Dante and Randal made me a filmmaker – so now it’s time I return the favor.”

The original “Clerks” debuted in 1994 and was a huge breakout film for Smith and one of those features that saw the rise of American indie cinema in the mid-‘90s. The filmmaker returned to the ‘Clerks’ franchise in 2006 with “Clerks II,” which was fairly well-received but didn’t turn into a major comedic hit for the director. Since then, he’s toyed with the idea of coming back but hasn’t fully committed until now. One thing is for sure, Smith has held onto his huge fanbase that will follow him anywhere he goes and to any project he attaches himself to, as he’s spent the better part of the 2010s releasing films as part of elaborate speaking tours.

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Unlike his most recent films, it does appear that Lionsgate is committing to a huge worldwide release of “Clerks III,” but a date has yet to be announced. Though, if filming begins in August, early-2022 seems like an obvious time for the film to debut.