Kevin Smith: Formerly Philly-shot ‘Mallrats’ sequel, 'Clerks 3' may be comic books instead

Kevin Smith at Exton Square Mall, where he had planned to shoot a sequel TV series to the 1995 hit, Mallrats.

New Jersey-born director Kevin Smith won’t be shooting Clerks 3 or the Mallrats sequel series in the Philadelphia area, after all — but he still might put the stories out in comic book form.

Earlier this month, Smith announced that he had put filming for Clerks 3 and the Mallrats sequel series — both of which were scheduled to be filmed in the Philadelphia area — on the back burner. The projects were shelved, in part, because Smith does not own the rights to his Clerks characters and was unable to find an interested network for the Mallrats sequel series. Instead of those projects, Smith said he would work on a Jay and Silent Bob reboot flick, the script for which he has already finished.

However, Smith recently assured fans that the Clerks/Mallrats projects aren’t dead, but are changing form to comic books.

“Sooner or later, I will put the scripts out there for Clerks 3,” Smith said on the most recent Smodcast episode. “A comic book or something like that, so people can see it. And the same thing for Mallrats — probably Mallrats 2, the movie script, we’ll do as a comic book or something like that.”

So, even if they aren’t filmed in Philly, Smith fans may still get another look at those facets of the director’s View Askewniverse. But, as Bleeding Cool News points out, Smith’s track record for producing comic books is about as on-point as his film production record as of late:

"In 2002, he launched two six issue minis at Marvel, Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do and Daredevil/Bullseye: Target. The former was delayed by three years before being completed, and the latter only ever managed to see one issue published. Smith’s 2010 Batman mini-series, The Widening Gyre, was meant to be 12 issues, but ended at six when it became clear Smith wouldn’t be able to complete it. The remaining issues were supposed to be published in 2014 as a new mini, Batman: Bellicosity, but that never happened either."

The filming for Clerks 3 and the Mallrats sequel underwent similar delays and changes. Smith first announcing in March 2015 that he would film Clerks 3 in the Philadelphia area thanks to a tax credit. However, Smith pivoted to film his Mallrats sequel, which initially was planned as a feature film rather than a TV series.

Smith settled on Delaware County’s Granite Run Mall as the filming location for Mallrats 2, but later switched to Exton Square Mall after the timeline for filming and the mall’s then-planned demolition didn’t line up. After that change, Smith altered the sequel’s format to a 10-episode series.

The director maintained Exton Square Mall as the Mallrats sequel’s shooting location as recently as June 2016, but announced the series had been put on hold — along with Clerks 3 — earlier this month.

“I’ve pitched said sequel series to 6 different networks only to find no takers thus far,” Smith wrote on Facebook. “Mind you, I’m not complaining: Nobody gets to make everything they wanna make in this business.”

Smith added that “Clerks III can’t happen” because “one of four leads opted out of the flick.”

Now, Smith will take a crack at his Jay and Silent Bob reboot, which serves as a followup to 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and involves the stoner duo traveling back to Hollywood to stop a remake of the Bluntman & Chronic movie.

“I already met with the good folks at Miramax and they’re into,” Smith said earlier this month. “So I’m hoping we’ll be shooting in the summer!”

After that, Smith fans may want to be on the lookout for Clerks 3 and Mallrats 2 comic books. But, then, you can never be too sure.