Adam Sandler has a pretty substantial deal with Netflix to make movies, but he admitted that the company made one big change he had nothing to do with in his upcoming movie.
As The Hollywood Reporter detailed, Sandler appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to talk about his upcoming movie, Hustle. The basketball film isn’t about him wrecking pickup games in the New York region. Instead Sandler plays a recruiter looking for the next big star. And he revealed that a major change was made to the film because Netflix doesn’t currently get to do business with China.
“It was written originally that I find a player in China and somehow, Netflix is not in China. So they were like, ‘Would you guys please make it so we find someone in Latin America or Europe?’” Sandler told Patrick. “So the next thing you know, I’m in Majorca [Spain].”
Patrick, who has a cameo in the film, was shocked to learn that the plot was changed for that reason. “Wait, that’s how that happened?” he asked, to which Sandler replied, “Yeah, it was originally, ‘find a player in China.’”
Anyone making movies knows that the people footing the bill often request changes, but it’s still surprising that Sandler saw this much meddling from a studio. There’s also the odd nature of the change, as Sandler is certainly not someone to turn down filming in a luxurious beach location, turning his shoots into fun vacations with his pals. So perhaps he didn’t mind the change of scenery all that much.
Still, Sandler said the move may have actually helped make Hustle better because it meant casting another real-life basketball player who, like Kevin Garnett in Uncut Gems, is said to have stolen some scenes.
In Netflix’s Hustle, Juancho Hernangómez of the Memphis Grizzlies plays the recruit Sandler’s character hopes will help change his fortune.
“[Hernangómez] acts better than me in every scene,” Sandler said. “It’s just like, god damn it. This guy is falling, crying in the middle of a scene, doing the right thing. Every joke he says, I’m like, ‘He said it smoother than I would have.’”
We’ll have to see just how Hustle turned out, but now we know where a good portion of the plot’s direction goes and how it got there.