Notwithstanding that Mitch Albom stands to reap a windfall since he co-wrote the song with Zevon (David Letterman did the backup vocals on the album version), that's pretty awesome. It's also a minor miracle to get a melding of a great song with hockey, considering what you hear during stoppages in play at most arenas.
" 'The song's been one of my favorites since I heard it and I’ve always seen this whole movie behind,' Smith continued. 'I got in touch with Mitch because Warren Zevon has passed on and we started talking about it and he was into it and into what I was kind of pitching.'Smith, as you know, is a big New Jersey Devils fans and has always sprinkled hockey references into his movies. He also wrote a paean to all things puck for Time magazine and is planning a pilgrimmage to Brantford, Ontario next month to play in a road hockey tournament organized by Walter Gretzky, the most famous sports dad in recorded history.
"Smith is gunning to get the project going in 2010 or 2011, singling out the film from all his other projects as 'the one I really want to do in a big, bad way.' It will be set in the late 1970s within the World Hockey Association, before those teams were absorbed into the National Hockey League. 'It takes place during the last gasp of the goon era of hockey when it was all about fighting,' Smith said." — MTV Movie Blog
Smith's hockey references include: Zack Brown, the titular character played by Seth Rogen in Zack and Miri Make A Porno, played for a beer-league team named the Monroeville Zombies. There was a road hockey scene in Smith's first film, Clerks, along with Brodie Bruce (Jason Lee) in Mallrats unpausing a Sega game when he was supposed to take a girlfriend to breakfast. (He promptly scores using the wraparound move that was near and dear to anyone who played a lot of hockey video games in the mid-1990s.)
Zevon, at least according to another dead personal hero, Hunter S. Thompson, got the inspiration to write You're A Whole Different Person When You're Scared while watching Patrick Roy shut out Smith's Devils in a Stanley Cup playoff game. There's irony.
The game was the most dominating display of big time hockey either of us had ever seen. The Avalanche humiliated the favored defending champion N.J. Devils.Anyway, that's something to brighten up a Friday. You'll excuse anyone who overdoes it on back-patting because he listened to a lot of Warren Zevon albums when he was alive and wasn't on a major label.
Patrick Roy got his shutout and "could have beaten N.J. all by himself," Zevon boasted. "He made midgets of us all. I will never forget this game. Our song will be called 'You're a Whole Different Person When You're Afraid.' "
Which proved to be true, when we played it back on his new-age Hugo machine 40 hours later.
According to the above-linked article, Smith plans to film his hockey epic after he finishes his current project, A Couple of Dicks. Somehow, Chris Pronger is not starring in that one.
Kevin Smith Making Hockey Movie With Mitch Albom Based On Warren Zevon Song 'Hit Somebody' (MTV Movie Blog, via Total Film)