Marvel Studios may have perfected the formula over the last twelve years, but they were hardly the first to set their movies in a shared cinematic universe. All of Quentin Tarantino’s work takes place in the same mythology, and he’s even established two distinct timelines to the extent where fans can join the dots between his films, with the writer/director explaining that characters from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction would theoretically go and see From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill on the big screen.
Adam Sandler, meanwhile, recently joked that he’d love to do an Avengers-style crossover for Happy Madison Productions, and while the actor’s fans have become accustomed to seeing the same faces show up in a lot of his projects, the Sandler-verse has already existed for well over 20 years. Little Nicky was the second pic released by Happy Madison and the first with its founder in the lead role, and marked the launch of a sprawling interconnected world that continues to this day.
The movie saw Happy Gilmore‘s Chubbs appear in heaven, while Rob Schneider also reprised his role as The Townie from The Waterboy and from there, the Sandler-verse kept on getting bigger. Ten Second Tom was seen in 50 First Dates and Blended, Otto the Caddy from Happy Gilmore was spotted in Jack and Jill, Nazo the Delivery Guy was in Big Daddy and Mr. Deeds, and the Lamonsoff family have been name-checked in six Sandler vehicles.
Hubie Halloween continued the growth of the Happy Madison Cinematic Universe in the opening scene as well when Ben Stiller made a cameo as orderly Hal L. almost a quarter of a century after Happy Gilmore, but it was Little Nicky that provided the first piece of connective tissue.