Ben Affleck's Cameo in Upcoming Comedy Movie Spoiled in Trailer

The trailer for the long-anticipated Clerks III dropped on Wednesday, and with it came the movie's first spoiler. The movie features many of the most famous actors ever to work with director Kevin Smith – including Ben Affleck. Many fans were surprised to see Affleck in the teaser for this throwback-laiden threequel.

Clerks III is not just a sequel to Clerks (1994) and Clerks II (2006) – it is another installment of Smith's loosely organized continuity known as the "View Askewniverse." Accordingly, it includes callbacks to Smith's movies including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and so on. Affleck has appeared in six View Askewniverse movies so far, and he has played at least five different characters, including a fictionalized version of himself. It's not clear who he is playing in the trailer to Clerks III.

The 2-minute trailer takes fans back to the adjacent convenience store and video store where Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) have apparently continued to work for nearly three decades. It shows that Randal has suffered a heart attack that shook up his life, causing him to make a lifelong dream come true. He decides to make his own movie.

Of course, this is incredibly meta – not only in relation to the first movie but in relation to Smith's own career. After dropping out of film school, Smith returned to his hometown in New Jersey where he got a job at a convenience store and shot Clerks on the job. The story of Clerks III clearly borrows from that experience but throws in the added complication of middle age.

One scene in the trailer cuts quickly through several actors reading Dante's iconic catchphrase in an audition: "I'm not even supposed to be here today." They include Fred Armisen, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Affleck. This could be Affleck playing himself and auditioning for the role, though it could also be one of his old View Askewniverse characters going out for the part as well.

Regardless, many fans were pleased to see Affleck in the trailer and to see all of Smith's Hollywood connections coming to fruition in this long-awaited victory lap. Clerks III is scheduled to premiere on Sept. 13 only in theaters. It will be screening as a Fathom Event, and tickets are available now in certain markets.