Kevin Smith and hockey go together like, well, Kevin Smith and New Jersey. The filmmaker is a huge fan of the sport and works it into his films whenever he can, such as in the first Clerks and in Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Once Smith has finished promoting and showing off his latest film, Red State, he’ll write and direct one more movie before retiring and it’s fitting that his final film will be a hockey movie. It’s called Hit Somebody and is based on the song of the same name by Warren Zevon and Mitch Albom. It’ll star Nicholas Braun as Buddy McCracken, a tough hockey player who just wants to score one goal in a game. Other hockey players will be played by Braun’s Red State co-stars Kyle Gallner and Michael Angarano while his coach, Blue Jay Jennings, will – most likely – be played by John Goodman.

Smith posted a scene from the current draft of the script that features Coach Jennings with a much younger version of Buddy. You can read it after the jump.

Smith posted the scene on his blog, Silent Bob Speaks. Before you read the scene, however, Smith posted some disclaimers and set up:

This is a work-in-progress, not the final script, or even the final version of the scene. When all’s said and done, there’s a good chance this scene might not even make the final draft, left alone the first cut. Consider it more of a sketch than anything else: an impression of what I’m going for in HIT SOMEBODY. I left a blank space in one section of Blue Jay’s dialogue to conceal a plot point. This scene takes place about 60 pages into the current draft of HIT SOMEBODY. It’s 1961 and our lead character, Buddy McCracken, is 11. Buddy’s suffering from a personal loss when he’s visited on his family’s Saskatchewan farm by the man who’ll be his first hockey coach, Blue Jay Jennings (written for John Goodman).

And, without further ado, a scene from Kevin Smith’s Hit Somebody:

EXT McCRACKEN BACKYARD RINK – DUSK

Blue Jay Jennings climbs out of his truck, carrying a bag.

Close on the side of the barn, as a puck rockets through it. Then another. There are LOTS of holes, dents, or embedded pucks in the side of the barn today. BLAM! Another puck just misses Blue Jay as he steps near the barn, arms raised.

BLUE JAY
Don’t shoot.

Buddy mean-mugs Jay as he studies the barn damage.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
Well… we know you can hit the broad side of a barn.

BUDDY
I was aiming at your car.

Jay looks to where his car is – far, far from the barn. Can the master spin this one?

BLUE JAY
Y’know, it’s pretty windy out today…

BUDDY
What do you want?

BLUE JAY
A less lippy tone’d be nice, for starters. I never met a hockey player who wasn’t polite and respectful out of a sweater. Speaking of which…

Jay pulls a hockey sweater from the bag he’s carrying, holding it up for Buddy to see. The BUCKOS is the team name.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
This is yours.

Buddy eyes the jersey, now sullied. He heads over to the barn and pulls a few pucks out of the wall, ignoring Jay. Jay sighs, reaching into his coat. He cracks open a beer.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
I’ll tell you one thing: you can’t be a hockey player with a temper like that. Every hockey player I know that didn’t die in a car wreck lived to be eighty years and died peacefully in their sleep. That might mean nothing to a kid like you, but the older you get, the more a peaceful death starts sounding pretty sweet.

Suddenly: a small hint of interest from Buddy. Fisherman Blue Jay feels a tug at his line.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
You know what a heart attack is?

Buddy shrugs “kinda”.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
When you’re an adult, life’s not very fun anymore, kid. They expect productivity. And the pressure that comes with expectation of any kind – the stress and the anger and the jealousy… Over a lifetime?
(mimes a heart attack; then)
But that doesn’t happen to hockey players. Know why?

Buddy shakes his head. Blue Jay points to the barn.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
Hockey players are allowed to beat people up.

Buddy’s taken back by this. Blue Jay nods.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
They take out their troubles on the ice. They take it out on the puck, or some sumbitch ain’t got his head up. For two minutes, all that stuff us mere mortals gotta deal with as thinking organisms on a cold rock in space that doesn’t care whether we hang on or spin off into the Milky Way? The stuff most people call “real life”? For two minutes , a hockey player gets to skate it all away. You can’t drop gloves on life, kid – but in The Game? They’ll cheer you if you do. Because they all know what a struggle… what a fight life can be. And when they see you take a swing – with your stick or a good right hook – they feel like you’re taking a swing for them. And lots of people will tell you that ain’t right. But brother?
(whispers)
There ain’t nothin’ righter.

Blue Jay winks and smiles widely at Buddy. Buddy melts further, smiling back. Blue Jay sees the opening.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
I’m not out here because of what happened with _________ , and I’m not out here because I’m short any players. I’m out here because you’re a pip of a fighter. And everyone’ll tell you fighting’s not part of The Game, but it is – second only to scoring goals. The team I’m putting together’s gonna need fighters, so whadya say, sport?

Buddy won’t answer. Blue Jay eyes the boy.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
My Dad died when I was nine.

Buddy looks to Blue Jay, sympathetic.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
Heart attack. While he was on our roof.

EXT ROOFTOP – DAY – FLASHBACK

Jay’s Father suffers a heart attack while hanging a BLACKHAWKS flag near the chimney. He grabs his chest, losing his balance. But rather than fall forward off the roof, he’s caught on the flag pole. After a moment, he dies, sorta standing, arm up.

OC BLUE JAY
Worst part was nobody knew it right away. So my Dad hung up on that roof ‘til dark. The whole neighborhood just waved at him.

People are passing by on the neighborhood street: Post Man, Woman with Stroller, even the Milk Man. Each wave at Blue Jay’s dead father on the roof.

EXT McCRACKEN BACKYARD RINK – DUSK

Back to Jay and Buddy on the backyard rink.

BLUE JAY
(ruefully, sotto)
Goddamn the overly-polite Illinois suburbs…
(shakes it off)
When he died, it left a hole in me I wanted to climb inside and never come out of. I’d cry myself to sleep every night.

BUDDY
(cautiously engaged)
You’d cry?

BLUE JAY
Sure. He was my Dad.
(beat)
But then I remembered why my Dad was on that roof: he loved his Hawks. My ol’ man never picked up a stick in his life, but he loved The Game. Drove us to see the Junior B out in the Soo every season. One time, we even went to Maple Leaf Gardens. Leafs and Hawks. Not a great night for the Hawks, lemme tell ya’. I’ll betcha nobody who played in the Gardens that night probably even remembers that game…
(wistfully)
But I know I’ll never forget it.

Buddy smiles warmly. Jay’s got him on the ropes.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
And I started thinking that, by playing hockey, I’d have my Dad back in some little way. Not back, y’know – just… around. Kinda. So I threw myself into The Game. And whenever I’d play, I’d feel closer to my Dad. And even better? The crying stopped. Know why?

Buddy wants to know. Blue Jay closes.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
Once I got on that ice? I let it all go. All that anger, all that sadness? I skated it out. I scrummed it away. I became a scrapper!

Blue Jay puts the sweater in Buddy’s hands.

BLUE JAY (CONT’D)
I’d like to give you the chance to do the same. On my team.

- Copyright Kevin Smith

If you’d like to know more about Hit Somebody, really you just need to listen to this. It’s the basis for the movie.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

blog comments powered by Disqus