Kevin Smith’s proven himself to be both an early and steadfast supporter of Zack Snyder’s Justice League director’s cut. And he couldn’t resist using “Snyder Cut” to describe his own original vision for the ending of 1994’s Clerks. Granted, this alternate ending is not a new revelation, Brian O’Halloran (who portrayed Dante) previously told Rolling Stone that he “hated” it. Smith ended up shooting the scene before deciding to go with the closing-up-shop ending that actually suited the spirit of the film well.
Smith did including the scene — in which Dante is killed during a robbery — on the 10th anniversary DVD, and yeah, it is dark stuff. Is it gritty, though? Sure. Even grittier than Caitlin inadvertently having sex with a dead man in a darkened bathroom.
Dark + gritty + original vision? Check, check, check. Take it away, Kevin Smith with illustrative script pages on Twitter:
This is the shooting draft of CLERKS. 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: https://t.co/WubnHOtuiY pic.twitter.com/Bh400pVhcj
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) January 5, 2021
Ah, memories. Smith uncovered the draft while writing Clerks III, and while the development would have been an ultimate irony (Dante wasn’t even supposed to be there that day!), I’m onboard with O’Halloran’s opinion that this would have been too quick and easy of a wrap-up. And it would have made Clerks III, as Smith has been writing it, a probably nonexistent happening.
Speaking of the threquel, shooting has obviously been pushed back due to you-know-what, but Smith previously revealed to EW that the script was inspired by his own heart attack. “Randal has a heart attack, decides that he came so close to death, and his life has meant nothing, there’s nobody to memorialize him, he has no family or anything like that,” Smith explained. “He comes to the conclusion at mid-life, having almost died, having worked in a movie store his whole life and watched other people’s movies, he tells Dante, I think we need to make a movie. So Dante and Randal make Clerks. That’s the story of Clerks 3.” Boom.