Netflix announced on Thursday that the streaming service has signed a deal with actor Adam Sandler to release four new movies in which the actor will star and will produce. The announcement arrived shortly after the service reached a separate agreement with The Weinstein Company to release its first original theatrical offering, a sequel to Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, to be released in 2015. Sandler offered up an anecdote on his Twitter to invite his followers to the Netflix press release stating, ‘I tried to sign up for Netflix but this happened instead.’
The four films that Sandler will star in and produce will be made exclusively available to Netflix subscribers throughout the almost 50 countries. The company spent quite a bit of time adding justification of the deal, stating that the actor is one of the most beloved on their service and appeals to a wide variety of audiences internationally. In fact, he is consistently ranked among the most viewed actors that Netflix has offerings for.
Sandler’s body of work certainly adds to Netflix’s desire to bring him on board as well. Having grossed over $3 billion at the box office worldwide, it stands to reason why he is one of the most iconic comedians of the past twenty years. In recent years, Sandler has stumbled both at the box office and with the critics, with releases like 2013’s Grown Ups 2, experiencing heavily critical failure, and 2014’s Blended being marked as one of the actor’s worst box office debuts ever. However, these follies haven’t necessarily diminished the nostalgia of Sandler’s canon, and classics the likes of Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison remain staples of comedy globally.
This new deal that Netflix has signed with Adam Sandler for the four new movies represents Netflix’s second announcement of the week that indicates the service’s desire to move into theatrical content. The acquisition of this agreement with the actor also signifies they are moving deeper into the realm of producing their own content as well. In recent years, Netflix has expanded their portfolio of original work with exclusive television shows like the award-winning House of Cards and the critically acclaimed Orange Is the New Black. The service even took control of the cult classic Arrested Development for a highly anticipated, seven years overdue fourth season of the show. Until now, though, Netflix has remained within an established comfort zone of television series offerings.
On Monday, Netflix detailed their agreement with The Weinstein Company to produce Ang Lee’s second Crouching Tiger flick, the 2000 original having been incredibly successful 14 years ago. Harvey Weinstein expressed his excitement for the agreement in that it will bring the new feature to a great many fans all across the world. Netflix echoed Weinstein’s encouraging thoughts, stating they were equally as enthusiastic to exclusively release the piece and partner with Imax, who will be handling the limited theatrical release in the Imax format. The Sandler announcement today further confirms Netflix’s desire to delve into theatrical content.
Adam Sandler’s signing of this new deal with Netflix to partner and release four new movies is an impactful decision by the company to actively pursue film content as well as the television entertainment that they have had much success with. Happy Madison Productions, the actor’s longstanding production company which is producing these new movies has stated that the first film could be available as early as 2015. Considering Crouching Tiger is also set for the year, 2015 could prove a pivotal year for Netflix’s direct effort to produce more films.
By Brett Stewart