Director Kevin Smith has long been promising a third installment of his beloved Clerks franchise, even going so far as to suggest Pittsburgh as a shooting location during a Comic-Con panel discussion back in July 2013. But, as it turns out, Clerks III will be filmed right here in Philly.

Earlier this week, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office issued a crew call for the film, indicating that production would begin in early June and is expected to last for five weeks. Smith, however, has said that Clerks III will shoot beginning in May. To that end, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has issued a $2.1 million tax credit for the film's production.

While Smith is a local in that he is a Jersey native, Philly hasn't been featured in one of his films, save for 2004's Jersey Girl, in which we stood in for New Jersey. Pittsburgh, however, served as a shooting location for 1999's religious satire, Dogma, and again in 2008 for Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

The first Clerks, released in 1994, launched Smith's career after it took home a Filmmakers Trophy at Sundance that year, as well as a Prize of the Youth at Cannes. It revolves around convenience store clerk Dante Hicks and his co-worker Randal Graves, who helm the run-down, fictional Quick Stop in Leonardo, New Jersey, as well as the attached video rental store, RTS Video.

Clerks III got a green light back in September 2014 following the release of Smith's latest horror romp, Tusk. The budget reportedly stands in the $6 million range, and so far has Rosario Dawson confirmed for the project alongside Jason Mewes and Smith, who play the stoner duo, Jay and Silent Bob.

Sadly, though, Clerks III may serve as Smith's final film. Following an advancement in production for his proposed hockey drama, Hit Somebody in December 2012, Smith claimed Clerks III would be his "last cinematic effort."

"So with the 'Hit Somebody' shift, the minute Jeff Anderson signs on, my last cinematic effort as a writer/directory will be 'Clerks III,'" he Tweeted in 2012.

No release date for Clerks III has yet been officially announced, though IMDB claims it will hit the big screen in August 2016.

UPDATE: Smith tweeted Thursday night that Clerks III will shoot in May, followed by Hit Somebody in September. However, the big takeaway is the hint at a followup to his 1995 comedy, Mallrats. So maybe this isn't the end of Jay and Silent Bob, after all:

[Pittsburgh Business Times]