Kevin Smith Making Hockey Movie Based On Warren Zevon Song Written By Mitch Albom
Trust me. I’m as confused as you are, but apparently Kevin Smith, he of Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy renown – you know, when his movies were good? – is currently writing a script for a hockey movie which will be filmed in Detroit. One hurdle the portly filmmaker had to hoist himself over was getting the permission of one Mitch Albom, he of Tuesdays with Morrie and “making crap up about sporting events that he didn’t attend and submitting a column about it” fame.
Apparently – and this is where it gets weird – Mitch Albom once wrote a song for the late, great Warren Zevon entitled “Hit Somebody” which is about a Canadian hockey player who is only good at fighting (on a side note, I believe this song predicted the arrival of Derek Boogaard, but that’s another story altogether).
In any event, that’s some crazy stuff. Who knew Mitch Albom could also write half-assed, schlocky song lyrics, too? I mean, I knew about the emotionally manipulative novels and his tepid, smarmy brand of sportswriting, but this, too?
Kelley L. Carter of the Detroit Free Press sat down with Mr. Kevin Smith to discuss the upcoming project for the film auteur which will reportedly star Seann William Scott.
Yeah, this entire idea keeps looking better and better.
QUESTION: So you’re going to make a hockey film?
ANSWER: I’m right now on Page 81 of the script. It’s big. I mean big in terms of long; it spans a life. We go from 1950 to 1980, and Seann William Scott is going to be my guy, the guy that plays the lead. It’s based on the song that Warren Zevon recorded that Mitch Albom wrote the lyrics to. (The song is on “My Ride’s Here,” Zevon’s 2002 album.) …
We’re shooting in Detroit, too. I reached Warren’s estate about the song, and they said, “You’ve got to talk to Mitch Albom because Mitch Albom controls that song.” I said, ” ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ Mitch Albom?” So I got in touch with Mitch first by e-mail, and then he came to New York while I was there shooting “Cop Out.”
So he came and we hung out for about two hours, went downstairs and ate at the Ritz-Carlton down in Battery Park. At the end of it, he goes: “I gotta tell you, man, I felt like it was important to be face to face with you if I was gonna hand over the song. It’s a big deal.” He was like: “I don’t know how else to explain it, and I know there’s business deals and stuff later on. But I just feel like I wanted to see your face and to hear you talk about it.”
What confuses me about Albom’s insistence about meeting Smith face-to-face is Smith could have just stood on his porch in Jersey and yelled and Albom could have heard him in Battery Park. Because Mitch Albom has massive, ill-proportioned ears, you see. Moving on…
Q: So he gave you the green light?
A: He was way into it; he got it. When I talk hockey, it becomes evident that (I’m) passionate about it, and even if I can’t tell you every player’s name on a roster or even what their assist record was last year, I can do circles around people.
So by the end of it, he was like, “You’re the guy.” He goes: “I got two requests. One, you can’t make fun of the sport. The sport is too easy to make fun of, and we need all the help we can get.” I was like, “I’m the last guy in the world to make fun of the sport!” And then he was like, “Two, you gotta film it in Detroit.” And I was like, “That ain’t hard — that’s Hockeytown.” He’s like: “I’m from Detroit. We could use the help.” I said, “Dude, done and done.”
There is plenty more interesting little tidbits in the interview but what I found most fascinating is the Mitch Albom angle. Journalist, novelist, contributor of hackneyed commentary on ESPN talking head shows…what can’t this guy do? Besides annoy the living hell out of each and every sports-loving person, of course.
Oh crap. I think Mitch might have heard me type that. I better make myself scarce.
Kevin Smith plans to film hockey saga in Detroit [Detroit Free-Press]