Adam Sandler to Star in and Produce Four Movies Exclusive to Netflix
by Ethan Anderton
October 2, 2014
After shaking things up with a deal that sees the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon coming exclusively to Netflix and IMAX screens simultaneously, the streaming service has just struck another huge deal that could really get studios and movie theaters worried. Netflix has announced a deal that has Adam Sandler set to produce and star in four feature films that will be released exclusively on the streaming service. That's right, Sandler and his Happy Madison Productions banner will work with Netflix to develop the four films and stream them exclusively to the nearly 50 countries that Netflix provides service. Read on!
Netflix has picked up plenty of feature films that have already been produced, but this is the first time in awhile that they're producing feature films from scratch. It's just another jab in their fight with HBO since they've already been successful with television series and comedy specials, just like HBO, and now the next step is original films as well. As of now, it's not clear when these films will see release, but Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told Wall Street Journal that he was hoping to have one movie released per year with the first possible arriving by the end of 2015.
Sandler is pumped about the deal, as you might expect, as he says, "When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only….Netflix rhymes with Wet Chicks. Let the streaming begin!!!!" That's a lot of exclamation points and typical Adam Sandler humor. However, despite the upbeat attitude, I wonder what the major studios, especially Sony Picutres, thinks of an appealing cash cow like Sandler going to Netflix with fresh feature films that will debut exclusively on Netflix.
Adam Sandler is a major star with broad appeal who always gets butts in the seats, with hits like Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Waterboy, Grown Ups, Click, 50 first Dates, The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy and most recently Blended in his past, so this is a pretty big deal. Is this the future of feature film distribution? Netflix certainly seems to be testing the field, likely by picking the star whose filmography gets the most attention through their streaming service, and they're not afraid to shake up the distribution model for television and films. What do you think of all this?