File it under we’ll-believe-it-when-we-see-it, but it looks like Kevin Smith‘s much talked about, long developing hockey epic, “Hit Somebody,” may finally be close to actually happening. The project was, at various times, conceived as a single movie, a two-part film, and six hour mini-series, and as far back as 2011, Smith had it all mapped out.
The Warren Zevon song-inspired, two-film version—”Hit Somebody: Home” (rated PG-13) and “Hit Somebody: Away” (rated R)—tells the story of a rising hockey player named Buddy McCracken, and spans three decades, from 1950 to 1980, tracking his rise through the ranks to become a professional hockey player. Smith even had it cast, with Michael Parks to play a French Canadian coach, John Goodman as Buddy’s first coach, Blue Jay Jennings, Melissa Leo in an unspecified part, Nicholas Braun a Buddy McCracken himself, and Kyle Gallner slated to make an appearance in the film as a Wayne Gretzky-like character. But for all the talk and chatter, the movie(s) never materialized. But it looks like it’s headed back onto the ice.
Chatting with Slashfilm, Smith revealed that pieces are now coming together for the mini-series version of “Hit Somebody” to go in front of cameras next year. We’ll let him explain in full, complete, lengthy, detail:
The beautiful thing about Tusk is that it opened a lot of doors in a weird way. I guess it was just maybe like ‘Oh he’s working again’ or some people were really attracted to the material. The folks at this company Star Stream at one point were thinking or toying with the notion of funding Tusk, but Demarest kind of swooped in and did it. So Kim Ledford, who runs Star Stream, loved Tusk and she was like ‘What are you doing next?’ I wanna do whatever you’re involved in. You seem to be in this weird place and I wanna work with you.
And so we were talking about doing the Krampus movie with her and Star Stream. And so, you know, the Yoga Hosers thing came together in post on Tusk and again, it came together very quickly. And when I reached out to Demarest and said, ‘Hey, man, I wanna make this Yoga Hosers movie, do you wanna go?’ They were like ‘We won’t be ready by the end of the year. We’re gonna have to wait till middle of next year.’ But again, I had a window. So I was like well, ‘Do you mind if I go finance someplace else?’ And they’re like ‘Yeah, totally, go ahead.’ And so Star Stream, I reached out to them and said, ‘I know we’re about to do this Krampus thing, but there’s this movie that kind of came out of nowhere and I wrote it, but I think we can pull it off since it’s not that expensive’ and blah, blah, blah. And it’s about two 15 year old girls. And that was the magic right there, man. Because they were like ‘You’re making a movie for an audience that voraciously goes to the movies? Like that’s really good.’ So they jumped on board with Yoga Hosers and we put Krampus on the back burner.
Kim was like ‘Look, you talked about this True North Trilogy, these three movies in Canada. You gotta make those in succession. So Krampus you can make anytime, but like keep making this ’cause you’ve already kind of set the tone.’ I was like ‘All right.’ So they jumped into Yoga Hosers because of that. While working on Yoga Hosers, Clerks III came up and Kim was like ‘Let me read that script.’ And suddenly she was like ‘Oh my God, we’re making this movie. Why didn’t you tell me about it sooner?’ I was like ‘Ah, we were working on this other thing.’ So boom, Clerks III was suddenly happened. Moose Jaws has already been pre-approved and we got our money for Moose Jaws. So once again, like Tusk just keeps it going.
So we were having this conversation about fake Canada that I keep setting the movies in now for this True North Trilogy. And Kim, her former boss, he used to work tangentially in the world of the NHL (National Hockey League). Howard Baldwin I believe was her former boss. So, you know, she knows a lot about the world of hockey, particularly the WHA (World Hockey Association). And I was like ‘Oh my Lord, I have written this mini-series that we were planning to do with CBC up in Canada. That, you know, I’ve been sitting on for a while.’ I said, ‘You would love to read it, just because it’s set in the world that you know very well.’ And then when I was all over, she was like ‘Wow, we’re making this right now.’ And so we have two meetings and we met with our Canadian counterparts, ’cause we’re gonna shoot up a lot of it up North and then some of it in Michigan as well. But we were able to kind of pull the budget together. So in the fall of 2015, we head up to it looks like Northern Ontario and start shooting Hit Somebody.
In short, Smith has about 5000 projects happening all at once, but within in a year, he’ll shoot “Hit Somebody” in Canada. Again, we’ve heard this confident talk before, and we’ll believe it when we see it, but at the very least, he definitely still wants to make “Hit Somebody.” Will any of that previous cast come back or be available? Will this really happen? Your guess is as good as ours.