Kevin Smith’s new comedy/horror film Tusk opens this weekend and it’s got us thinking back to Clerks, which turns 20 next month. It’s the super low-budget movie that transformed the 24-year-old Jersey kid and comic book nut into one of the most beloved indie filmmakers of the 1990s and a cult hero for slackers everywhere, even if the mainstream press hasn’t quite embraced all of his follow-up films.
The original Clerks paved the way for an animated TV show and a sequel in 2006, but none of those would have happened had Smith stuck with his original ending for the movie, where Dante Hicks – the Quick Stop worker who wasn’t even supposed to there on that fateful day – gets murdered by a mysterious man who robs the register. The film ended with a shot of Dante’s lifeless corpse on the ground.
“I hated that ending,” said Brian O’Halloran, the actor that played Dante. “I just thought it was too quick of a twist.” Smith said he shot the scene because he simply didn’t know how to end the movie, but he ultimately sided with O’Halloran and took it out. He later included it on the 10th anniversary DVD. You can watch it right here.
Smith has been very vocal about his plan to wrap up the Clerks franchise with a third movie, though earlier this year the project suffered a setback when The Weinstein Company took a pass. “Will Clerks 3 still be made?” Smith Tweeted in July. “Heavens yes, just not with the Weinsteins’ money. And all involved are okay with this.”