Proving that every walrus-man-shaped cloud has a vulgar, slacker-shaped silver lining, Kevin Smith is claiming that his made-on-a-dare movie Tusk has paved the way for him to finally make Clerks III.

The Weinstein Company, which owns the rights to the Clerks films, passed on funding the third installment earlier this year. But even though Tusk received only middling reviews and has tanked at the box office, the spectacle of staring at Justin Long’s hideous mustache while Michael Parks stuffs him into a walrus suit has garnered a great deal of attention for Smith’s favorite pet cause: reminding people that Kevin Smith exists, and will make movies if you give him some money.

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Talking last week on his podcast Hollywood Babble-On, Smith discussed the difficulties of securing funds for the conclusion to his epic trilogy about aging, maturity, and people having sex with corpses and donkeys, and how Tusk turned all that around:

“A year and change ago I was desperately trying to 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, people going ‘Holy fuck, what else do you have?’ and I was like Clerks III and they’re like ‘done’. So, everybody that’s like, ‘He failed, he failed,’ I’m like ‘Thank you, I failed into doing Clerks III.”

Smith’s films have always had an autobiographical element, so it remains to be seen whether Clerks III will see protagonists Randall and Dante as podcasters who manage to fail upward, all while celebrating meaningless anniversaries that no one else cares about.

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