'Clerks 3' Is Kevin Smith's Midlife Crisis Magnum Opus

Clerks 3 wrapped shooting last week and director Kevin Smith says the third in the cult classic comedy series was by far the most fun to make, and not just because it was inspired by that time he had a massive heart attack and nearly died.

Smith was rushed to the hospital in February of 2018, minutes after filming a standup comedy special. He was immediately sent into surgery for an angioplasty to fix a 100 percent blockage of his LAD artery.

The near-death experience prompted Smith to overhaul his diet. Three years later, he's 50lbs lighter and is ruminating on his midlife crisis in his latest movie, he tells Q104.3 New York's Shelli Sonstein.

The plot of Clerks 3 revolves around one of the characters (whom Smith was careful not to name) surviving a massive heart attack. After the experience, the character decides to memorialize his life by making a movie.

"So essentially our clerks make Clerks," Smith says. "So all summer long I've been doing this deep dive into the past. Not only was I at Quick Stop, where I used to work, where we shot the movie. But before I shot the movie there, I just worked there for years and whatnot.

"So I was working at Quick Stop again for the first time in like 30 years, but we were recreating key moments from Clerks in black & white ...

"A lot of people my age go through midlife crises and whatnot and they try to return to their past. Lion's Gate paid for my return to the past, my midlife crisis. It was awesome, man. It was like going to Kevin Smith fantasy camp where you just went back in time and worked at Quick Stop and remade the move that change your life. It was absolutely wonderful. Such a great way to spend the summer."

Watch the full conversation via the player above!

Clerks 3 is set for release in 2022.

Smith is also spearheading a Sept. 10 fundraiser with the Friends of Firefighters nonprofit, which provides free, confidential mental health and wellness services to active and retired FDNY firefighters and their families.

Smith will be joined by Steve Buscemi at the Smodcastle in Leonardo, NJ, for 'Being Buscemi: An Eve With Steve!' Go here for tickets or watch the live stream here.

Photo: Getty Images AsiaPac

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