On the heels of Netflix’s announcement that it will be releasing the upcoming martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend on the same day it debuts in IMAX theaters, the streaming service has again bit its thumb at Hollywood by signing A-lister Adam Sandler for an impressive four comedies.
The projects, which Sandler will both star in and produce through his Happy Madison Productions, will exclusively debut on Netflix, bypassing the standard theatrical release. The actor is a huge score for Netflix, which is now going after major Hollywood studios having previously cemented its foothold in television with award-winners Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
Said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos:
“People love Adam’s films on Netflix and often watch them again and again. His appeal spans across viewers of all ages — everybody has a favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line — not just in the US but all over the world.”
Sandler himself released a slightly less polished statement, joking (we think):
“When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only….Netflix rhymes with Wet Chicks. Let the streaming begin!!!!”
Netflix is expected to spend as much money on the projects as a traditional Hollywood studio would. Sandler’s previous efforts have typically been budgeted at about $80 million, though his most recent comedy Blended had an exceptionally low budget of $40 million, so the streaming service is likely expecting to shell out some amount in that range per film.
Not included in the deal are Sandler’s current studio commitments, which Netflix will wait for him to complete before pushing forward with their projects.
Sandler is a definite star with many fans who seek out his projects based on his name alone. In other words, he’s the perfect star for Netflix to lean on as it continues to expand into feature-length original programming.