Behold the continuation of a brand new series of articles here at Awards Radar! With the “Make This Movie” series, we’ll be profiling material that we’d love to see become a film. Sometimes, it will be a book or a stage show that deserves the cinematic treatment. Other times, we’ll look at screenplays that are stuck in development hell. Basically, if it’s not yet a movie, it’s eligible. Today, we continue the column with a song that become a passion project for a favorite filmmaker, but has yet to become a flick. So, read on and find out why we want Hollywood to Make This Movie!
It’s no secret that I love Kevin Smith. I’ve interviewed the man here, paid tribute to his horror flicks here (as well as here, here, and here), plus ranked his filmography here. That’s not even the totality of it, either. Suffice it to say, Awards Radar has been a safe space for Smith. Today, I’m writing about him again, but this time, it’s about a film that he, so far, has not gotten to make. It’s none other than Hit Somebody, an adaptation of the song Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song). It’s a movie that potentially could still happen, so consider this a chance to explain why I hope it does eventually get made.
Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song) is a wonderful tune (listen here) by none other than Warren Zevon. Interestingly, the lyrics were co-written by author and sports fan Mitch Albom, lending it a bit extra authenticity. It tells the story of a hockey goon (a player mainly there to instigate fights, also known as an enforcer in more of the modern parlance) who loves the game but hates his station in it, just wishing he could score a goal. It’s almost Disney level stuff, but told rather beautifully. So, it’s no wonder that it caught the eye (and ear) of Smith to adapt.
A Hit Somebody movie has been in the works for over a decade now, ever since Red State. Back in 2011, Sean William Scott was initially sought to star, though the main role of buddy subsequently was pegged for Nicholas Braun. Other parts were meant to go to Kyle Gallner, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, the late Alan Rickman, and Stephen Root (among others). As the script took shape, Smith would plan it out as a two part film, with the subtitles of Home and Away. Then, it became a potential miniseries, though financing continued to be an issue, as supposedly hockey movies struggle at the box office. More recently, Smith read part of his screenplay aloud on a podcast, giving some indication of tone. Having heard it, it was easy to imagine it as a film, clever and heartwarming in equal measure. If you think of the earnestness of Jersey Girl mixed with the maturity he’s developed over the years behind the camera (as my Clerks III review stated here), it’s not hard to see something special potentially here.
Smith could easily still make Hit Somebody, if he wants to, of course. The material speaks for itself, he has built up relationships with multiple new companies, be it Netflix with Masters of the Universe, or Lionsgate with Clerks III. After his likely next project, The 4:30 Movie, as well as a long in development Mallrats sequel, this would be a perfect next step.
We shall see what happens with this one, as Smith is clearly in a new stage of his career. However, I do remain of the opinion that if he ever was going to have a project with Oscar potential, it’s this one. If Hit Somebody turns out as well as I (and presumably Smith) imagined, some classic cinema would be in the offering. Who knows if it ever will happen, but I do want Smith to Make This Movie…
Stay tuned to see if Kevin Smith gets to Make This Movie!