Adam Sandler is a great actor when handed the right material, he just doesn’t seem to be all that interested in venturing outside of his comfort zone very often. Whenever you see his name attached to a project that isn’t a Happy Madison comedy, though, he’s almost guaranteed to deliver a strong dramatic performance, even if they’re few and far between.
Having won rave reviews and scooped several awards for Uncut Gems, Sandler will be heading into completely uncharted territory in the near future when he starts shooting Netflix’s existential sci-fi The Spaceman of Bohemia. However, he once came very close to collaborating with Quentin Tarantino on Inglourious Basterds, only to turn down the role of Donnie Donowitz.
Tarantino has something of a reputation for reinventing big name actors by casting them firmly against type in his films, and it would have been fascinating to see him team up with someone like Sander. Unfortunately, however, scheduling conflicts with Judd Apatow’s Funny People nixed his involvement, although his self-aware turn as washed up comedian George Simmons did end up being one of his very best.
Of course, Eli Roth ended up playing Donnie Donowitz instead, and it would be fair to say that he’s a much better filmmaker than he is an actor, with the Cabin Fever and Hostel director giving a stilted and wooden performance that sticks out like a sore thumb among the rest of the impeccable ensemble. While he might have missed out on Inglourious Basterds, it would still be great to see Adam Sandler star in a Quentin Tarantino movie one day, even if time could be running out should the latter end up sticking to his guns about retiring after his tenth feature.