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Clerks 3 Trailer Features The Cast Of Clerks 3 Making Clerks

"Clerks" started as a very small comedy filmed for a very tiny budget all the way back in the 1990s, centering around one day in the lives of Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), two nerdy stoners with ordinary lives, whose jobs as convenience store clerks are chronicled in knowing and humorous detail. Since the unexpected success of "Clerks," the film has spawned one direct sequel — that would be "Clerks II," in 2006) — as well as two films centered around minor characters from the first film, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), as well as a short-lived animated series. 

And now, after a 16-year hiatus, the film franchise is about to come roaring back to theaters. Fans who have grown older (though not necessarily wiser) beside Dante and Randal will probably be first in line to the see the movie, but if you're curious to find out what the "Clerks" world looks like in the early 2020s, the first trailer has been revealed.

Clerks 3 is set to go very meta

Fans of the franchise should settle in for nostalgia overload, because "Clerks 3" appears to be an unabashed tribute to the past, which inveighs playfully on the present-day reality of the characters.

When Randal has a heart attack while working at the Quick Stop (inspired by the real-life cardiac emergency suffered by Kevin Smith), he worries that he's living on borrowed time and has also wasted his life. He decides to make his dreams come true by making his own movie. A simple movie, with characters based on people from his own life.  

Yep, you see where this going: "Clerks 3" is essentially about Randal and Dante making their own in-universe version of the original "Clerks," complete with jokes about the film's original ending (which, for those who don't know, originally featured Dante being shot to death) and tweaking of the franchise's use of Jay and Silent Bob. This definitely isn't the first time the "Clerks" franchise has delved into meta humor, as illustrated by "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." Still, this time, it looks like the movie is aiming for a fuzzy and funny conclusion to the franchise as a whole.

"Clerks III" will be released on September 13, per the film's official website. If you want a sneak preview of the film — and to watch it with Kevin Smith in attendance — you can check out "The Convenience Tour" which will debut the film slightly ahead of its wide release in some markets.