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The Unfilmed Transaction Scene In Clerks Explains The Original Ending

Though Kevin Smith has made enough of a name for himself in Hollywood to become something of a household name, it all began for the writer-director back in 1994 with "Clerks." Inspired by Smith's own annoying and often humorous experiences working at a retail store prior to selling the project (via The Guardian), the movie offered a deadpan and absurd aspect of life that many Gen X'ers were just starting to experience themselves.

Of course, since then Smith has dabbled in dozens of other projects from more of his over-the-top, gross-out comedy hijinks, to uncomfortable body horror, and a bevy of comic-writing gigs. Still, along with "Chasing Amy," many cinephiles cite Smith's debut as among the best creative endeavors that he's ever been a part of.

Though, by now, many fans are no doubt aware of the alternate ending of the iconic '90s comedy, what they may not know is that there was actually an unfilmed scene that would have set it up earlier.

The scene would have helped set up Dante's murder

Fans have talked for years about the dark, depressing alternate ending to "Clerks" in which Dante (Brian O'Halloran) is abruptly shot dead by a mugger at the tail end of the film. While that might be common knowledge, Smith revealed in an earlier draft on Twitter that he had set up a character named "John" as the culprit and had even written an earlier scene that involved the character.

"This is the shooting draft of Clerks," tweeted Smith with a picture of the script. "I was checking it for references as I write the new 'Clerks III' and I found this scene in which Jay inadvertently gets Dante killed. 'John' is the guy who shoots Dante and robs the register in the 'Snyder Cut' of Clerks." That last bit is an obvious reference to the darker, grittier recut of "Justice League" by director Zack Snyder.

While the mugger ending was wisely excised in favor of a finale that fit the film much better, the draft does offer further details on what led up to the mugging. Namely, that a junkie named "John" tries to buy drugs from Jay (Jason Mewes), but doesn't have enough money. This leads to the alternate ending where he robs Dante and shoots him during the altercation. Though this doesn't make the alternate ending any better, it does at least help fans understand the angle Smith was coming from.