Lionsgate and director Kevin Smith dropped the long-awaited Clerks III trailer going back to basics with Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) working at the Quick Stop Groceries convenience store with Elias (Trevor Fehrman), initially introduced in 2002's Clerks II. The opening shot shows Randal's former VHS and Nintendo store converted into a marijuana dispensary run by Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith).
We see the stoner favorites walk in frame with Jay's New Jersey Red Wings' jersey and Silent Bob's signature trenchcoat doing their schtick. The four get in their rooftop hockey with the Quick Stop logos as they did in the original 1994 film. The trailer then takes the turn for the serious as Randal is experiencing breathing problems and a subsequent medical episode collapsing in the store while a hapless Elias tries to awkwardly help before the fall. At his hospital bed, Randal becomes reflective in his depression, trying to make sense of his life. Dante suggests filming a movie with his best friend, taking the advice to heart, "not watching movies, but making them."
The setup is the film within the film where Randal shoots scenes from his memories with his friends. We get a huge swatch of Smith's friends making cameos, including Fred Armisen, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Maya Rudolph, Justin Long, and Ben Affleck. The latter already played multiple characters in the View Askewniverse, with Armisen, Gellar, and Affleck quoting Dante's line about "not supposed to be here today" from the 1994 original. We also get a few Jay, and Silent Bob highlights, and the "filming" appears to be as dysfunctional in the vein of Smith's 2008 film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The final surprise is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the much darker alternative ending of Clerks. Lionsgate, in partnership with Fathom Events, will release Clerks III, which also stars Rosario Dawson and Austin Zajur, exclusively to theaters on September 13th and 15th. You can get tickets here.