Ten years after he burst onto the US indie scene with Clerks,filmmaker Kevin Smith has decided to make a sequel to the now almost legendaryno-budget comedy. Smith will direct The Passion Of The Clerks from hisown screenplay, with principal photography set to begin next January andMiramax set to distribute.

Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson, stars of the original film,will reprise their roles in a story that catches up with the employees of theQuik Stop convenience store 10 years down the line. Smith and Jason Mewes willmake an appearance as Jay and Silent Bob.

Also reconvening from the first film will be producer Scott Mosierand cinematographer David Klein.

Originally made for $27,575 (though said to have cost $230,000after post-production work), Clerks was a landmark in 1990s independent UScinema. It won the Filmmaker's Trophy at Sundance in 1994 and the Prix de laJeunesse and International Critics Week Award at Cannes.

The film went on to gross around $3.1m in US theatres. In 2000,Smith executive produced a short-lived animated TV series based on the film.

The filmmaker said the idea for the sequel came to him afterworking on the tenth anniversary DVD of Clerks. Miramax releases the three-discset, Clerks X, on Sept 7. Smith's latest film, Jersey Girl, is releasedon DVD on the same day.

He is currently writing a film version of comic book The GreenHornet for Miramax.