Lionsgate will release the third Clerks film from writer-director Kevin Smith.

Quoting Tao Te Ching on Twitter — pretty high falutin’ for the guy who got famous from the potty-mouthed low-budget film — Smith noted, “To be great is to go on. To go on is to go far. To go far is to return.”

The third movie is about to get underway in New Jersey, where the original black and white film was shot. Smith thanked the studio, noting, “On August 2, for my 51st birthday, I return to Quick Stop – the little store that started it all – with my friends Dante, Randal, Jay, Silent Bob, Becky, & Elias!…”

The 1994 film was shot on a shoestring budget, at the convenience store Smith worked at the time. It centered on lament-filled employee Dante, played by Brian O’Halloran, and Jeff Anderson as his goof-off pal Randal, as they negotiated a day in their lives as hourly working stiffs. Smith had a role as Silent Bob, the mute yin to Jason Mewes motor-mouthed weed dealer Jay’s yang.

The film made Smith famous, and spawned a sequel in 2006, which added Rosario Dawson and Trevor Fehrman to the ensemble; they’re returning for the third, Smith confirmed.

According to a press release, the film will follow Randal surviving a near-fatal heart attack, and then enlisting his pals to immortalize his life in film.

Smith himself survived a near fatal heart attack in 2018.

Smith called the return to the Garden State, “an ode to both the enduring allure of cinema and the resourcefulness and lunacy of its storytellers.”

He added, “Years ago, Dante and Randal made me a filmmaker – so now it’s time I return the favor.”

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