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Adam Sandler Teams with ‘We the Animals’ Director for Netflix Movie Produced by LeBron James

Jeremiah Zagar has been on the radar since his 2018 coming-of-age feature drama debut.

Adam Sandler35th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Feb 2020

Adam Sandler

Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutterstock

Adam Sandler and Netflix have found their next project, with indie breakout director Jeremiah Zagar at the helm. As announced by Netflix on Monday, “Hustle” will unite Sandler with the “We the Animals” filmmaker, with a script from Taylor Materne and Will Fetters, who was a screenwriter on 2018’s “A Star Is Born.” IndieWire has reached out to Netflix, which has confirmed that “Hustle” will be a comedy.

The film stars Sandler as an American basketball scout who is unjustly fired after discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player abroad, the scout decides to bring him to the States to prove that they both have what it takes to make it in the NBA. The film is the latest entry in Sandler’s ongoing pact with Netflix, both in front of and behind the camera, which has yielded such comedies as “Murder Mystery,” “The Ridiculous 6,” “The Do-Over,” and more, as well as more serious fare such as “The Meyerowitz Stories” and, internationally, “Uncut Gems.” “Hustle” has reportedly been in the works since 2018, when Netflix scooped up rights from Legendary and offered it to Sandler.

Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, plus LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment will produce “Hustle.” Director Zagar cut his teeth in documentary and short-form filmmaking, but “We the Animals” broke out of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, winning the NEXT Innovator Award, and going on to earn five Film Independent Spirit Award nominations. “Hustle” will be Zagar’s biggest project yet, though due to the ongoing pandemic, no production start date has been set.

“Hustle” also marks Sandler’s latest pairing with an indie filmmaker since teaming up with Josh and Benny Safdie for 2019’s “Uncut Gems,” which earned the actor across-the-board rave reviews for his turn as a jittery New York jeweler. Ultimately, he picked up a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. “Uncut Gems” will be headed to Netflix to make its premiere on the platform on may 25.

Sandler’s other upcoming Netflix project is “Hubie Halloween,” currently in post-production and set to debut later this year. It’s directed by Steven Brill, the filmmaker behind Sandler’s cult favorite “Little Nicky,” and it centers on a community volunteer who finds himself in the middle of a murder case on Halloween night. The film co-stars Kevin James, Maya Rudolph, Ray Liotta, and Steve Buscemi.

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