If you grew up in the ‘90s, you’d likely be someone who quotes Adam Sandler’s early catalogue of films religiously. From Billy Madison to Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy and The Wedding Singer, the comedian may have been panned widely by critics, but he knew how to deliver great laughs to audiences and did so with that trademark wry smile and buoyant charisma.
But then Netflix came around and it seemed Sandler couldn’t help but churn out one mediocre movie after the next, often relying on the same routine of jokes and surrounding himself with the same familiar faces of comedy. This changed with Uncut Gems. Under the guidance of the Safdie brothers, Sandler finally hit his stride and showed everyone – from Brad Pitt to Hollywood’s biggest directors – just how great his range as an actor truly is. Now, he’s got his eyes set on working with LeBron James.
According to reports from Variety, the film will be called Hustle and will land on the streaming service Netflix. Variety suggests that the film follows an American basketball scout who is wrongly terminated after finding a gifted foreign player. Sandler’s character brings the player to the U.S. to prove they can both make it in the NBA.
It might be something of an odd choice, given the incredible success of Uncut Gems, for Sandler to now cast his net on LeBron James, but let’s not forget that James is an actor, too. While Space Jam 2 has been delayed due to Covid-19, fans are still waiting with eager anticipation to see their favourite basketball star take to the big screen, much like Michael Jordan did back in the day.
The film is expected to be directed by Jeremiah Zagar, who fans will recall directed the 2018 coming-of-age drama We the Animals, which received rave reviews at Sundance Film Festival. According to reports, Sandler signed on especially because of Zagar’s involvement. The film will also be produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison productions, alongside Roth/Kirschenbaum Films. It comes after Netflix extended its deal with Sandler and Happy Madison to make four more movies.
It certainly sounds like an exciting premise for a film and given Sandler’s newfound confidence given his Uncut Gems success, we wouldn’t be surprised if the actor expresses a bit more range in this film than, say, Grown Ups 2. As for LeBron, we’ll be waiting to see what he delivers in Space Jam: A New Legacy which is expected to hit cinemas in 2021.