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UPDATE: Film School Rejects talked to the man himself, who confirmed the split and argued, "Everybody does trilogies. I’d rather end with a less predictable closer." Read more about it over there.
At the Sundance premiere of Red State that caused such a ruckus, Kevin Smith announced very matter-of-factly that Hit Somebody, an adaptation of the Warren Zevon song, will be his last film, as he turns his focus to becoming a distributor and producer of movies through his new Smodcast Films. As it turns out, that decision now comes with an asterisk: Hit Somebody will be Smith's final two films. During a Q&A following a Red State screening in Montreal, Smith said, via Hour Community, that he's decided to split Hit Somebody into two films, a la Kill Bill.
They don't have a direct quote from Smith, but the filmmaker said he eventually realized the story had gotten too big to fit into a single film, and at one point considered turning it into an HBO series before finally going for the two-part solution. The story of a "Canadian farm boy" whose particular talent is beating people up on the ice, Hit Somebody: Part 1 will likely end when the hero, Buddy, finally makes it to the big leagues. From there he's constantly told to his remember his role as a "goon," the guy who protects his fellow players and lets other people score the goals; Buddy has bigger dreams, though, and in the melancholy song we see what happens when a goon tries to go for the goal just once. You can listen to the song below-- a little Zevon in your day is never a bad thing.
Nicholas Braun, recently seen in Disney's Prom, has been cast as the hero Buddy, and last we heard Smith was hoping to go into production later this year, presumably after the giant Red State tour has wrapped up. If the epic version of Hit Somebody is in fact in the works, Smith will be at work much longer than we thought-- but given his nonstop Twitter presence and willingness to discuss pretty much anything, we'll be hearing plenty about it in the coming months.
If you've caught Red State already-- and if you haven't, it'll be on your televisions this Labor Day weekend-- you've noticed that he's taken a big artistic leap forward, engaging in violence and action in a way the talky director never has before. It's really exciting to see, even if the movie isn't all that successful, and made it all the more disappointing when Smith announced his retirement. Twice as much Hit Somebody means we get twice as much time to see if Smith really is developing so much as a filmmaker; even if you're not necessarily excited about a hockey drama, that's an opportunity worth taking.