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Kevin Smith On Why He Prefers 'The Avengers' Over 'The Dark Knight Rises' & Turning 'Hit Somebody' Into A Single Film

by Drew Taylor
December 3, 2012 11:03 AM
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Kevin Smith

EXCLUSIVE: Over the weekend EPIX premiered a brand new Kevin Smith special, "Jay and Silent Bob Go Down Under." Chronicling a small smattering of the Australian leg of their "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old" live show, the engaging one hour program features Smith and his "Clerks" costar Jason Mewes doing what they do best, which talking about nearly every topic under the sun. Last week, we got a chance to catch up with Kevin Smith ourselves, and he generously answered our wide range of questions.

So we've split the conversation up into a couple of more easily digestable pieces and today, you can read about his plans to turn his previously planned two film hockey project "Hit Somebody" into a single movie, and why he liked "The Avengers" more than "Dark Knight Rises." We'll have more tomorrow. "Jay And Silent Bob Go Down Under" is now playing on EPIX.

"It's tough to get one hockey movie made, let alone two. So I've switched back to one movie."

As fans of the filmmaker know, Smith has been talking up "Hit Somebody" for a while. While making the press rounds for his horror flick "Red State," he said would be coming nextm, and plans called for an R-rated epic, a story that would span three decades over two films, tenatively titled "Hit Somebody: Home" and "Hit Somebody: Away." But in today's climate, getting one non-tentpole movie financed is hard enough, not to mention a sports drama covering two pictures. And in order to help get it off the ground, Smith is scaling his ambitions.

"The problem with 'Hit Somebody' is that I wanted to do it as two movies. It's tough to get one hockey movie made, let alone two. So I've switched back to one movie. I had one-and-a-half scripts that I had to get down to one. I want to get it down to a 150-page script and I know that's longer than the average script length but I figure I give myself a two-and-a-half hour length on paper knowing that I'm really ruthless in editorial and I can get it down to 2, 2:05, because this is a movie that takes place over 30 years," he explained. "So at the end of the day if I can get the script down to 150 pages then I can pull the trigger and we're off and running. And right now I'm at page 240. So I've still got to page 90 pages out. It's a lot of material that I'm just paring down," he explained.

But, as always, Smith's very busy schedule and variety of projects means that "Hit Somebody" could still be a while off just yet. "I've been occupying myself with 'Spoilers' [his film criticism show] or the 'Jay And Silent Bob' tour from which the EPIX special comes, I wrote the book, and there's other TV stuff coming down the pike that's kind of exciting. I've been keeping myself busy," Smith said. "People are like 'What's with that last movie?' And it's like, well, it is my last movie so I'm going to do it right and do it on my own timetable. I feel no need to rush into production. I still want to do it for as little money as possible. You're talking about a movie that takes place between 1950 and 1980 – period piece. It's going to be expensive, in a way that none of my other conversation pieces have been expensive, because those were pretty much set in the present. You're talking about not only dressing motherfuckers through 30 years of period, but all the equipment, cars, so it's going to cost a little bit of money. I'm going to try and keep it low. When I say a little bit of money I'm talking about $20 – 30 million."

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  • jdigitalseven | December 24, 2012 9:40 AMReply

    I saw the Avengers with low expectations and it blew me away . I ended up seeing it 7 times and got the same thrill each time. There was too much dialogue in all of the nolan Batmans and very little action, especially in the last one. Bane was probably the most boring enemy ever and barely could tell what he was saying. Tdnr felt like it was 10 hours long, yet the Avengers felt like it was only an hour. Nolan's Batmans are so over rated. They are more drama because of the very little action. For a batman movie, he was barely in it. Just because you shoot things in the dark doesn't make it more "bad" .

  • Chris138 | December 4, 2012 3:04 PMReply

    The Avengers is pretty forgettable. But I guess Smith is a big comic book guy so it makes some sense that he would enjoy it so much. Nonetheless, even with its flaws, I still think TDKR is leagues ahead of The Avengers.

  • Shirley | December 4, 2012 11:39 AMReply

    The dark knigh rises was a better movie to me. I cared about the people in the world of Gotham more.

  • tristan eldritch | December 3, 2012 12:46 PMReply

    Avengers looks like shit compared to Pfister's work on Dark Knight Rises, but it's far more intelligently written. Whedon writes deft comedy and characterization, and the Nolan bros write clunky exposition and endless "This is what I am a symbol of..." speeches.

  • V | December 5, 2012 5:38 AM

    "The Dark Knight Rises" was terrible. All build-up and close to zero pay off. Whatever happened to the "class warfare" sideplot? It just vanished in the final act in favor of the gimmicky "bomb" plot. Ultimately, TDKR's finale boiled down to the same as 'The Avengers', where the lead hero has to save the city by taking a WMD out of harm's limits. Only, we had loads of fun getting to that point in The Avengers. Whereas TDKR made us endure 2 long hours of pretentious drone till we reached there.

    And don't get me started on the terrible way the Nolans handled the "romance" element in the film. Those couple of moments featuring Pepper Potts in "The Avengers" far outshone anything in TDKR. Of course, when it came to the love story, The Amazing Spider-Man was the superhero movie of 2012 which nailed it best, but that is a discussion for another day.

  • Maria | December 4, 2012 5:20 PM

    The Nolans are far superior writers and there is plenty of thematic imagery in the film that is overlooked. The underground sewer representing the lie at the end of TDK and Blake rising at the end which is perfect show don't tell to highlight the symbol of Batman rising into legend. The ideas are also great just as the lie at the end of TDK is used in the wrong way to create the Dent Act so are the good intentions and legitimate concerns of the citizens co-opted by Bane for his own agenda. Comedy is great but ideas and themes are more important and create discussion. Also the characterisation of Bruce Wayne and his arc is again far superior to anything in the Avengers.

  • Christian | December 3, 2012 12:52 PM

    Lol, Nolan bros. are better writers. Shawarma?

  • cirkusfolk | December 3, 2012 12:22 PMReply

    He also said The Avengers was like a blowjob when The Dark Knight Rises was like actual sex. Way to flip flop. But he's right regardless. Avengers way better than Dark Knight Rises.

  • Yosef | December 3, 2012 12:01 PMReply

    This is non-news. Kevin Smith said back in January that Hit Somebody was one film. You guys even reported it then, big snafu.

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