Kevin Smith Finds His HIT SOMEBODY Lead in Nicholas Braun

     November 29, 2010

While Kevin Smith recently wrapped filming (and completed a first cut) of his horror film Red State, he’s also looking ahead to his hockey-centered film that will be his follow-up. Hit Somebody is a script that Smith has been working on for a while, that’s based on the Warren Zevon song of the same name, with lyrics written by Mitch Albom.  Via his most recent edition of his Hollywood Babble-On podcast with Ralph Garman, Smith revealed that he’s found his lead in actor Nicholas Braun, who Smith recently worked with on Red State. In fact, Smith said that he found “so much of [his Hit Somebody] cast making Red State,” so expect to see a few familiar faces once Hit Somebody rolls around (including podcast co-host and Red State cast member Garman, Smith confirms). Smith had this to say about casting Braun as his lead:

He’s this really really great actor who I love to death and he is the perfect lead for this script…he’s such a good guy, he’s a sweetheart and he’s fuckin so dope in [Red State]

Braun’s credits include Sky High and the short-lived TV series 10 Things I Hate About You. He’ll next be seen in the upcoming high-school dramedy from Disney, Prom.  Seann William Scott was previously attached to star in Hit Somebody after working with Smith on Cop Out, but chose to star in Jay Baruchel’s hockey comedy Goon instead when Smith decided to film Red State first.  For more on Smith’s upcoming projects, including more info on the plot of Red State, hit the jump.

While I’m not that familiar with Braun’s work, I like the idea of Smith casting a younger newcomer in the lead role of the flick. Fingers crossed he’ll nab a good deal of the young cast from Red State, given the pedigree of actors involved (Kyle Gallner, Michael Angarano, and Matt L. Jones). The song from which Smith’s screenplay is based tells the story of an aspiring hockey player named Buddy, who’s not the greatest when handling the puck, but has a knack for “beating people up.”  Smith said that he plans to start shooting the film in “July, August, [or] September” of 2011.

Smith recently submitted Red State to Sundance and hopes to sell the film to a distributor at the festival in January. In fact, he recently told Slashfilm that he plans to sell the flick right in the room at Sundance, auction style.  Smith is currently running a podcast mini-series on his Smodcast network specifically about Red State, on which he said the film is essentially about sex, religion and politics.  “The first 17 minutes of the movie are about sex,” Smith said, “the next 45 minutes to an hour…are about religion, and then the last third of the movie is pretty much about politics.” Entitled “Red State of the Union”, the podcast series is a self-described “film school” of sorts, wherein Smith brings on a member of the cast or crew from Red State each week to screen footage and discuss the filmmaking process on the flick. Recent guests included Red State producer Jon Gordon, and Director of Photography David Klein. For anyone interested in the ins and outs of filmmaking, the podcast is a definite must-listen.

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