Adam Sandler


  1. David Spade, Tommy Boy, 1994.   Opposite his first starring movie role, Chris Farley wanted one of his Saturday Night Livechums as his co-star. Sandler or Spade?  Sandler was already making Billy Madison. Problem solved.  The result is on Chicago critic Roger Ebert’s Most Hated list:“No one is funny… [or] interesting except for the enigmatic figure played by Rob Lowe, who seems to have wandered over from Hamlet.” 
  2. Jim Carrey, The Cable Guy, 1995.   First choice Chris Farley had to pass up his biggest pay-cheque of $3m to complete Paramont’s insistence on a second movie with his 1994 Tommy Boyco-star (and pal), David Spade. Director Ben Stiller took over as the titular nut-case Chip Douglas until finding he couldn’t act and direct at the same time. (Nor even separately, if truth be told). Sandler was suggested; inexplicably, as usual. Then, Carrey accepted a record $20m, for what he termed Rosemary’s Baby meets The Odd Couple.  More like a stalker send-up riff on What About Bob? and The King of Comedy.  Critic  Roger Ebert said any movie which made us dislike Carrey was a mistake
  3. Jeremy Piven, Very Bad Things, 1998.     Quit the role of Michael Berkow at the last minute to make (unfortunately for the free world), The Waterboy.
  4. Jason Lee, Dogma, 1999.       Said Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers: Thou shalt not stop laughing… New Jersey auteur Kevin Smith reached high (Bill Murray, John Travolta) and low (Sandler) for his demon Azrael in his askew view of religion. “It’s hard to conceive of a flick without Jason,” he said when his mate was not free for the fallen angel, Loki. “Luckily, his schedule freed up and he was able to segue into Azrael. You couldn’t ask for a better villain. Jason became the guy people in rehearsals measured themselves against – such was the passion and intensity of his performance.” Not what you’d say about Sandler.
  5. Adam Goldberg, The Hebrew Hammer, 2003.     An orthodox Jewish blaxploitation hero saves Hanukkah from the clutches of Santa Claus’s evil son and yada, yada, yada.
  6. Steve Martin, Bringing Down The House, 2003.     Jason Filardi had Sandler and Angelina Jolie  in mind when he first wrote it as…
  7. Jamie Foxx, Collateral, 2004.  Unbelievably,  Sandler had meetings with director Michael Mann after directors Spike Lee, Fernando Meirelles, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg had come  and gone. Then, Mann realised he required an actor as the taxi-driver. Choices went from Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp to Cuba Gooding Jr.
  8. Johnny Depp, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 2004.    
    Sandler was (somehow) among Tim Burton’s Willy Wonka choices.   Get out! No, no, true, true! Fortunately, Burton had 29 better ideas while awaiting news of Depp’s availability… From ole Beetlejuice Michael Keaton, to… Rowan Atkinson, Dan Aykroyd, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Chevy Chase, Warwick Davis, Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini, Dwayne Johnson, Ian McKellen, Marilyn Manson, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, John Neville, Leslie Nielsen, Brad Pitt, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller, Christopher Walken, Robin Williams. And the surviving Monty Python crew (also up for the 1970 version): John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Among the five exec producers, author  Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy, wanted her husband’s favourite Willy – Dustin Hoffman.   If not possible she voted for UK comics, Eddie Izzard or David Walliams. She was quite happy with Depp… who found Willy’s voice while riffing on  a stoned George W Bush!

  9. Dana Carvey, The Master of Disguise, 2001.         If the boss wouldn’t make it – Adam Sadler was the producer – why on earth would it attract someone like Jim Carrey? Poor Carvey made it for his kids (probably the only people who saw it). He’s Pistachio Disguisey, an Italian waiter trying to rescue his father from a Blofeld wannabe by using his inherited powers of… disguise! Dana does Scarface Pacino, Jaws’ Robert Shaw, George W Bush – no one new, you notice. The film greatly resembles Sandler. It thinks it’s funny
  10. Eli Roth, Inglourious Basterds, 2008.     Quentin Tarantino had the title since 1998 – the US title but not the same story of Enzo G Casterllari’s 1978 spaghetti war saga, Quel maledetto trena blindato.  Michael Madsen later announced the first casting of himself, Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Tim Roth. But Cute (QT!) postponed everything for his Kill Bills, 2003/2004… and later failed  to persuade Arnie, Bruce and Sly into the same movie. (Stallone managed that in The Expendables, 2009).  So for his Wild  Bunch take on The Dirty Dozen, QT to Sandler (!) about Sergeant Donny “The Bear Jew”  Donowitz. Unbelievable!  Fortunately, Sandler’s dance card was filled by Funny People.  QT sent for his director buddy, Roth – and also asked him to direct the German propaganda film within the film –  Stolz der Nation (Nation’s Pride) with 300 extras… and QT, himself, voicing a GI: “I implore you, we must destroy that tower!” Roth loved it.  “I’m Jewish, and this is like kosher porn. It’s something I’ve fantasised about it since I was a little kid.” In the Tarantinoverse, Donowitz is the father of film producer Lee

  11. Tom Cruise, Knight and Day, 2009.     As the tepid actioner went through nine writers over the years – from All New Enemies to Trouble Man to Wichita (final title was, literally, senseless),Gene Hackman and Justin Long morphed into Adam and…. any old Eve. Until Sandler realised being an action hero might prove to be his first really funny movie.
  12. James McAvoy, Gnomeo and Juliet, 2010.    Sandler for a Shakespearan tale, heaven forfen !!  Tony Hale was also in thje Montague mix. Wiser heads prevailed for this red v blue garden gnomes’ take on Shakespeare  (voiced by Patrick Stewart)  with, of course, producer Elton John’s songbook – Benny and the Jets, Rocketman, Your Song, et al.!Bard jokes as included  houses numbered 2B and Not 2B and the As U Like It moving company.
  13. Bradley Cooper, Guardians of the Galaxy, 2013.     The most Lucasian of the Marvel films…  H Jon Benjamin,  Jim Carrey, Sharlto Copley, Danny De Vito, Michael Rooker and David Tennant were also short-listed to voice the gnarled, miserable, angry Rocket Raccoon. (Well, he is half-machine/half-raccoon).




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  13