EXCLUSIVE: 30 Rock alumna Jane Krakowski is powering up with the cast of Columbia Pictures’ Pixels opposite Adam Sandler and Kevin James. She’ll play the First Lady to James’ President Cooper, who also once dated Sandler’s character Jules Brenner, in the science fiction comedy directed by Chris Columbus. The Happy Madison and 1492 Pictures production unfolds when aliens invade Earth after misinterpreting feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of intergalactic war. Pic is now filming in Toronto. Krakowski is the latest addition to a cast that includes Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Ashley Benson.
In the past year the Golden Globe-nominated thesp has turned in guest spots on The Simpsons and Modern Family after ending her Emmy-nominated seven season run as Jenna Maroney on NBC’s 30 Rock. On the features side she’s also got the upcoming Ashley Judd romance Big Stone Gap and Adult Beginners with Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne in the hopper. Krakowski’s repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Pixels is due in theaters May 15, 2015.
Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.
Bart: Here’s a suggestion for Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane and James Franco that none will appreciate: Guys, you should think about taking a sabbatical. All of you have been working too hard, trying too hard, and you’ve become predictable. Why not take a place on the sidelines for a while and think about life? I know the whole concept of “the sidelines” worries you. They’re already occupied by the likes of Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers; it’s much more fun being in the middle of the action. Even too much action.
Fleming: Wow, that’s a buckshot blast. Those three fall into different categories. Let’s take them one at a time, starting with Sandler. I loved his Saturday Night Live character creations, from Opera Man to Canteen Boy and miss the edge he carried into his early films. I wish Adam would stop pandering to the four quadrants and challenge himself to write something less predictable. Audiences are losing interest.
Bart: My problem with Sandler, MacFarlane and others is that “raunchier” doesn’t necessarily mean “funnier”. Scatalogical humor already has been pushed over the edge this summer and we are yet to see Melissa McCarthy’s new road movie, Tammy, or the next Cameron Diaz epic, Sex Tape. By the standards of the moment, the Diaz-Ben Stiller hair gel moment in There’s Something About Mary seems like a Disney picture. The R ratings for movies like Neighbors were saved only by some eleventh-hour manipulation in the cutting room — “frame-f*cking,” it’s called, and it’s a flourishing career. Read More »
PREVIOUSLY, APRIL 4:Sony Pictures announced that it will release the Chris Columbus film Pixels starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad in summer 2015, with Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage joining the cast. Principal photography will commence in June. In Pixels, aliens invade planet Earth after misinterpreting video feeds of classic arcade games as a threat. The President (James) calls on his childhood friend, Jules Brenner (Sandler), a former arcade champ-turned-home theater installer, to assist in saving the planet. Monaghan is set to play a weapons expert who also is Sandler’s love interest. Dinklage will play Sandler’s former arcade foe. Gad will portray a socially inept genius with a lot of conspiracy theories. Columbus and Sony are working with iconic vintage video game brands in order to incorporate them into Pixels. Thefilm was written by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling and based on the 2010 short by Patrick Jean and produced by One More Production. Pixels will be produced by Happy Madison’s Sandler and Allen Covert, and 1492 Pictures’ Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe. Executive producers are Barry Bernardi, Jack Giarraputo, Tim Herlihy, Heather Parry and Seth Gordon. Just for grins, here’s the original short … Read More »
I wish I could show you the incredible catch Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki just made, smacking into the rightfield wall to rob David Ortiz of an extra base hit in a one-run game in the 8th inning. Instead, here’s the latest trailer from the MTV Movie Awards, the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore pic Blended:
Here is 2014′s first new trailer for the third onscreen teaming of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The Gulfstream Pictures/Happy Madison rom-com Blended, which has been retitled twice, follows two single parents who endured a painfully bad blind date and later happen to sign their kids up for the same African safari vacation — and end up sharing a suite for a week. Frank Coraci directed from a screenplay by Ivan Menchell & Clare Sera. The ensemble supporting cast includes Joel McHale, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Bella Thorne, Kevin Nealon and Terry Crews. Warner Bros opens the flick May 23. Have a look (bonus points if you recognize the near-hit song about a minute in):
Two title changes later, the third rom-com teaming Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore is coming to a multiplex near you for Memorial Day. Blendedtells the tale of two single-parent survivors of a particularly heinous blind date who happen to sign their kids up for the same African safari vacation — and end up sharing a suite for a week. The Warner Bros pic also stars Joel McHale, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon and Terry Crews. Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann, Alyvia Alyn Lynd, Kyle Red Silverstein and Braxton Beckham play the kids. Frank Coraci directed from a screenplay by Ivan Menchell & Clare Sera. The Gulfstream Pictures/Happy Madison film is produced by Mike Karz, Sandler and Jack Giarraputo, with Barry Bernardi, Josie Rosen, Tim Herlihy, Allen Covert and Steven Koren serving as executive producers. Roll the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: This week, Jack Giarraputo has been telling associates at studios like Sony and Paramount that he will retire after he finishes producing the Warner Bros comedy Blended, and after that the Chris Columbus-directed Pixels for Sony. The 46-year old Giarraputo has been Adam Sandler‘s partner in Happy Madison since the company’s inception in 1995. So why would a young guy step out of a dream job at a company that continues to thrive, and which just saw Grown Ups 2 turn in a $113 million foreign gross to become the biggest offshore result for a Happy Madison pic?
Believe it or not, Giarraputo made a life decision that is based on making time for his sons, who at seven and four years old need a father who doesn’t spend all his time away on a movie set or working late developing scripts. And so Giarraputo told Sandler, his best friend since their days as NYU students, that he was going to step out in about about 18 months. Giarraputo will retire from movie producing. He will take on other ventures that he can do while making his family the main priority. That includes becoming a director at Jiaflix, a startup that will stream movies to China. He will also become involved in pursuits like private equity film funding and investing. But his main job title is going to be: Dad.
This wrestling match between career ambition and family … Read More »
First the romantic family comedy was Blended, then it was changed in the summer to The Familymoon. Now today it’s been re-titled Blended. The release date is still May 23, 2014. I’ll just rewatch Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and director Frank Coraci’s other movie together, The Wedding Singer, until Warner Bros marketing makes up its mind. My money is on Blendedmoon, but I bet Deadline’s loyal readers can do better than that.
Adam Sandler is in talks for the indie The Cobbler, which is shaping up to be the next directing project for The Visitor helmer Tom McCarthy. Sandler also is circling Jason Reitman’s next picture, based on the Chad Kultgen novel Men, Women & Children, which could begin filming in November. We’ll see which one he’ll take on first, though we’re hearing he will try to squeeze into Cobbler‘s shoes first. THR broke the Cobbler story first.
BREAKING: Jason Reitman, who’ll launch his film Labor Day in Toronto and preside over a reading of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights script there, is fast mobilizing his next film. I’m told that Indian Paintbrush is looking to finance an adaptation of the Chad Kultgen novel Men, Women and Children, with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner and Rosemarie DeWitt circling the lead roles. There is talk that Cameron Diaz might take part as well in a film that is eyeing a November start.
The book focuses on a family with junior high school students and deals with the navigation of sexual awakenings in a digital age where the Internet has made pornography, blogs and social networking just a few clicks away.
If the pieces come together the way I’ve described them, this would amount to a reteam of the parties that made Labor Day, as Right Of Way is producing with Mr. Mudd. Spokespersons say nothing is done, and Indian Paintbrush is not committed. Stay tuned.
They’ve previously done two movies together and now Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s upcoming Warner Bros romantic comedy about blended families forced together has gotten its second name. The pic formerly known as Blended will now be called The Familymoon, I’ve learned. The reason for the change? Marketing liked it better than the previous title, sources say. Produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison and Mike Karz’s Gulfstream Pictures, the movie follows a couple that, after a terrible blind date, find themselves and their children from past marriages stuck together at a resort for families. You know the script – hijinks ensue and a mutual attraction develops. The movie is scheduled to come out on May 23, 2014. Frank Coraci is directing from a rewrite Sandler and Tim Herlihy are doing of the original screenplay from Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera. Coraci also directed the first Sandler-Barrymore pic, 1998′s The Wedding Singer as well as other Sandler films Click and The Waterboy. The two actors also appeared together in 2004’s 50 First Dates.
The news that Adam Sandler has attached himself to the Chris Columbus-directed remake of the Korean comedy Hello Ghost makes me hopeful that Sandler is going to finally begin to listen to the people at the studios releasing his movies, about widening the circle of filmmakers he works with. Let’s face it, the movies micromanaged by his Happy Madison banner have become too formulaic, and they seem to mostly please Razzies voters these days. I’m a fan of Sandler’s, I just haven’t wanted to see his films lately. I was not a fan of the first Grown-Ups, despite its box office success, and can’t imagine the sequel will rise above the level of derivative retread. Recent films — Jack And Jill being the low-water mark — hold no real promise of surprises like we’ve seen the first Hangover, Bridesmaids, Ted, or the just-opened This Is The End. Sandler has worked with filmmakers like Judd Apatow and Paul Thomas Anderson on more serious fare, but the Happy Madison comedy formula needs an overhaul. Columbus could help Sandler out of a rut. He too has made some stinkers, but Columbus has succeeded often enough — from the first two Home Alone films to Mrs. Doubtfire, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone and others — to imagine he might help elevate Sandler’s game, if the star and his posse loosen the reins and trust the filmmaker. Hello Ghost has a script by One True Thing scribe Karen Croner, and Sandler will play a man whose failed suicide attempt allows him to see ghosts who haunt him until he grants each of them one wish. A promising premise, in the right hands. Read More »
Jay Leno is readying to exit stage left from NBC’s Tonight Show next February. So Adam Sandler was a guest Thursday and offered a little unsolicited advice about Leno’s post-Tonight plans. Of course, Sandler doesn’t mention that the problem is that Fox would have to get clearance for any late-night show from the affiliates who get to keep all the ad revenue from their late local news. Fox then might have to compensate them for any lost revenue. In other words, it’s complicated. Read the transcript after the jump: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Disney Channel star Bella Thorne has joined the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore comedy Blended. The Warner Bros rom-com revolves around the parties to a particularly lousy blind date who — each with their kids from a previous marriage — find themselves stuck together in a resort for families. Despite everything they can do to resist, the attraction grows between the two, and their kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship. Thorne, repped by WME, KLWGN, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman, will play Sandler’s daughter. Blended is set to open May 23, 2014. Sandler’s Happy Madison and Mike Karz’s Gulfstream Pictures will produce, and Frank Coraci is aboard to direct.
Thorne stars on the hit teen sitcom Shake It Up, which is in its third season on Disney Channel. The 15-year-old also is signed to Disney’s Hollywood Records and has a three-book deal with Random House.
Sony had a big summer hit with the first Grown Ups grossing over $160M domestically in 2010. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and Maria Bello made up part of the ensemble cast for that one which was directed by Dennis Dugan. They’re all back for Grown Ups 2 along with Taylor Lautner and Andy Samberg. The first film was based around a group of old high school friends who reunite for a July 4 weekend; the sequel sees Sandler’s character relocate his family back to the small town where he and his friends grew up. The film releases domestically July 12.
BREAKING: Adam Sandler has switched up his dance card and will push the Western he was going to star in to instead make a romantic comedy at Warner Bros. The film is untitled, and is set in the growing phenomenon of blended families. His Happy Madison will produce with Mike Karz’s Gulfstream Pictures, and the film will be his next starring vehicle, one that will mobilize quickly with a director and supporting cast.
That pushes back Ridiculous 6, the Western-themed laffer that Happy Madison had moved from Sony to Paramount last year. That film will be moved back until next year at least. It averts a race of comic Westerns, as MRC has a pretty firm spring start date on the Seth MacFarlane comic Western, A Million Ways To Die In The West, Amanda Seyfried and Charlize Theron also starring, with Universal the favorite to acquire the project.
Sandler’s Warner Bros project will come together quick; he’s eyeing a small group of actresses including his Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates costar Drew Barrymore for the female lead. The logline: After a disastrous blind date, Jim and Lauren find themselves, each with their kids from a previous marriage, stuck together in a resort for families. Despite everything they can do to resist, the attraction grows between the two, and their kids benefit from the growing relationship. The project has been at the studio since 2007, and the original … Read More »
We at Deadline toil all day to inform, entertain and occasionally turn a good phrase, but the stabs at creativity don’t stop with us. Our commenters can be a hard bunch, but some of them come up with some good lines that amuse us to no end. On the tail of today’s story about a new Ben-Hur at MGM, the commenter JJ didn’t seem as enthusiastic as the studio, and offered what he considered a better idea: “I’d rather see Adam Sandler in ‘Ben-Him/Ben-Hur.’
That’s the best one I’ve seen since I broke a story that Open Road would release the Ashton Kutcher-starrer jOBS, about Apple visionary Steve Jobs. Seconds later, thetruth opined: “An idiot playing a genius. Perfect.” That was pretty good, but the comment that made me laugh hardest since I’ve been at Deadline was one that came not only at my expense, but the legendary lady who brought me over here. I wrote a catty piece about a lawsuit between the director of The Human Centipede and the film’s original star. It was a development I said I hoped would doom their proposed re-team on a third installment of that vile horror franchise. One commenter took exception, ending his critique of me with the line: “What I wouldn’t give to see Mike and Nikki sewn ass to mouth.” A little harsh, but it made us both laugh.
Nominees for the 33rd Annual RAZZIE® Awards, satirizing the Worst Achievements in Film for 2012, include several Repeat Offenders, returning for more pie-in-the-face/light-hearted joshing in the one Tinsel Town trophy derby no one wants to win. Adam Sandler is back, following up his record-setting 2011 RAZZIE® “winner” JACK & JILL with an even more off-putting “family comedy,” THAT’S MY BOY. Focused on a scofflaw dad who fathered (then abandoned) a son with his 7th grade teacher, BOY amassed a total of 8 nominations, including Worst Picture and Worst Actor for Sandler himself – while also grossing about half what JACK & JILL did. But Sandler’s misfire was topped by the final chapter in a franchise which has reliably racked up RAZZIE® nominations year-after-year: TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2 (or as RAZZIE® Wags call it, TWILIGHT: S.B.D. #2).
EXCLUSIVE: The title of Adam Sandler‘s next film will beRidiculous 6, and it’s a comedy Western that Paramount Pictures has committed to put into production in April. This is the laffer that Sandler was going to make at Sony before Happy Madison Productions moved it to Paramount. The title is reminiscent of the 1960 United Artists pic The Magnificent Seven that starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn, the drama about seven gunfighters drafted to protect a Mexican town, so might this be a variation featuring inept gunslingers? The studio would not go beyond confirming the title and the terrain. Read More »