Say what one will about Adam Sandler and his Happy Madison production company – at least some of its movies have ambitiously big comedic hooks. One of Sandler’s upcoming projects, the western-comedy riff on the classic Magnificent Seven, Ridiculous Six, certainly sounds like a step up from his usual modern man-child fare.
As fun as Sandler-led cowboy farce might end up, it looks as if audiences will have to wait a while (if not indefinitely) for it to come over the horizon. Ridiculous Six has apparently been shoved back so that Sandler can head up an unnamed, mid-life romantic comedy.
Deadline reports that production on Ridiculous Six has been placed on hiatus until at least 2014, as Sandler has started prepping for a smaller, lower-budgeted romantic comedy. This unnamed comedy will be based on a script that’s been floating around for several years, penned by TV veterans Ivan Menchell (Jonas) and Clare Sera (Doin’ It Yourself). The film will be produced under the Happy Madison label, which means that the current script will probably see rewrites from the likes of regular Madison contributors such as Tim Herlihy (Grown Ups 2).
The script for the movie apparently follows a pair of divorcees who go on a catastrophically bad blind date, only to run into each other shortly thereafter while on vacation. Stuck at a resort with children from their previous marriages, the two leads fall in love while their respective families compete/grow closer.
Speculation abounds as to why Happy Madison has postponed what looked to be their next premiere project. The most obvious answer is that Sandler and company wanted to avoid direct competition with Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, which is already ramping up toward production. If A Million Ways to Die in the West and The Lone Ranger manage to spark more interest in westerns, Ridiculous Six will be able to ride that particular wave nicely.
The other possibility for the decision to postpone Ridiculous Six is one of financing. Both of Happy Madison’s previous outings – Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy – seriously underperformed at the box office. This was especially true of That’s My Boy, which managed a US gross of only half of its $70 million budget. This leaves Happy Madison in the position of struggling to justify what could be (for them) a big-budget western goof after two movies rejected by critics and audiences alike. The solution: Slide Ridiculous Six onto the backburner and make a small-budgeted, inoffensive romantic comedy in order to recoup losses.
One cannot judge a movie based only on the synopsis of an unseen script, but it’s not a stretch to say that this upcoming, unnamed feature sounds dull as flour paste. So far, it doesn’t even have a strong initial hook. Perhaps the script is actually full of wit and insight that’s lacking in a cursory description. However, given Adam Sandler and Happy Madison’s recent track record, this probably isn’t the case.
Ridiculous Six is scheduled to resume work sometime in 2014.