It feels like everyone in Hollywood has been chasing the shared cinematic universe hype train ever since its popularization by Marvel Studios. Some efforts have created the biggest moments in entertainment of the last ten years, but others crash and burn before even reaching their second release. As the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic continues to stifle the industry, it seemed as though this high risk high reward approach might finally start losing steam, but it looks as if an unlikely creator may still have a shovelful of coal to toss into its engine.
Attentive viewers of Adam Sandler‘s newest Netflix Original movie Hubie Halloween will probably have noticed the litany of easter eggs calling back to the 90s comedies that made him a star. Not only do many of his previous collaborators appear in the film, but most of them seem to either resemble or outright be the same character they played in the past.
For instance, Sandler’s love interest Violet Valentine has the initials V.V., a recurring trope of his movies ever since 1995’s Billy Madison. She also happens to be played by Julie Bowen, who contributed to this cliche with her role as Virginia Venit in Happy Gilmore. That film’s antagonist, Hal L., even makes a return in Hubie Halloween under the same name and is portrayed once again by Ben Stiller, while relative newcomer Tyler Crumley shows up as the youngest member of the O’Doyle family from Billy Madison.
When asked about the idea of pooling even more of his classic characters together for an MCU-esque cinematic universe in an interview with Yahoo, Sandler gave his support to the idea, albeit with a caveat, saying:
“I’d like that, I just gotta get mentally prepared for that. So that’ll probably happen in another 35 years. We’re gonna get to that.”
That time frame’s probably just a little comedic hyperbole, so fans can still hope to see the Sandlerverse become a reality. But even if not, watching an 85-year-old Adam Sandler reprise his best characters will surely be worth the wait for viewers everywhere.