During press for Clerks II, Smith briefly discussed the possibility of a Clerks III. Stating that “if there’s ever gonna be a Clerks III, it would be somewhere down the road in my 40s or 50s, when it might be interesting to check back in on Dante and Randal. But I don’t know about Jay and Bob so much, ’cause at 45, leaning on a wall in front of a convenience store might be a little sad.”
This was confirmed further during one of the three audio commentary tracks on the Clerks II DVD where Smith expressed interest in making a Clerks III in his 40s or 50s in which Anderson jokingly says “Oh, don’t get me started,” referring to Anderson’s well known doubts about making Clerks II when first approached by Smith.
On December 25, 2009, Smith replied to a tweet with a message board post. In it he says “Might be nice to box ‘View Askew Productions’ ’til the eventual look back in on Dante and Randal with Clerks III.”
On March 29, 2012, Smith expressed his interest in producing Clerks III as a Broadway play after seeing the Theresa Rebeck comedy Seminar starring Alan Rickman, with whom Smith had previously worked on Dogma.
On December 7, 2012, Smith announced on his Twitter account, that his ice hockey film, Hit Somebody, would be changed to a TV mini-series and that Smith’s last directional effort will be Clerks III. Smith states, “So with the Hit Somebody shift, the minute Jeff Anderson signs on, my last cinematic effort as a writer/director will be Clerks III.”
On December 10, 2012, Smith released a special Hollywood Babble-On episode, Hollywood Babble-On #000: GIANT SIZED ANNUAL # 1: CLERKS III, AUDIENCE 0, in which he revealed greater details on his plans for Clerks III. Smith revealed that an ongoing audit over residuals from Clerks II with The Weinstein Company was causing a delay in several key Clerks III cast and crew members, including Jeff Anderson and Scott Mosier, from coming on board until the audit was resolved. Smith also revealed that he would like to crowd source Clerks III, either through Kickstarter or Indiegogo, with contributors receiving anything from DVDs, posters, and even roles as extras in the film. As of yet, no start date for production has been set.On June 5, 2013, he changed his mind on crowdsourcing, stating “I’ve got access to money. And worst-case scenario, I can put up my house.”
On March 8, 2013, Smith announced via Facebook that he had officially begun writing the script for Clerks III. On May 13, 2013, Smith finished the first draft of the upcoming film, stating that it is “The Empire Strikes Back” of the series.
On the July 15, 2013 episode of Up at Noon on IGN with Greg Miller, Mewes said Smith has “finished and packaged together” Clerks III. They are waiting to hear back from The Weinstein Company, and he hopes to start shooting soon.
On September 26, 2014, Smith stated on the Hollywood Babble-On No. 183 episode, why he’s glad that he made Tusk, Smith added, “Everything in my life would suck right now if I hadn’t made that movie. I’m back in movies now. I’ve got three lined up, and this is the fucking grand news. Tusk was the absolute bridge to Clerks III. Because of Tusk, I got my financing for Clerks III.” Smith continued, “A year and change ago, I was trying to fucking desperately get Clerks III made for the 20th anniversary. And that desperation, I must have reeked of it, because I couldn’t fucking find money and shit. But it was Tusk, it was people going ‘Holy Fuck! What else do you have?’ And I was like, Clerks III, done. So everybody that’s like, ‘He failed, he failed,’ thank you I failed into Clerks III. So, never trust anybody when they tell you how your story goes, man. You know your story. You write your own story.”
On April 8, 2015, Smith announced that plans to start shooting Clerks III in May 2015 were put on hold and instead his next film would be Mallrats 2. Smith said, “We were talking about initially shooting Clerks III this summer and then we were going to get to Mallrats in the beginning of 2016. And then it jumped into 2015, where we were going to shoot Clerks and then hopefully ‘Mallrats’ before the end of the year. But now, based on a fucking mall that we all dig that will be going away, the priority has become Mallrats. So the next fucking movie I’m making is Mallrats 2.” In June of 2016, Smith announced that the plans for a Mallrats sequel had been turned into plans for a 10-episode TV series.