Since breaking out on Saturday Night Live in the early ‘90s, Adam Sandler has built a prolific career in comedy. He’s put out five comedy albums and starred in a trove of successful films, including Tamra Davis’ Billy Madison, Dennis Dugan’s Happy Gilmore, and Frank Coraci’s The Waterboy, among others.
But in recent years, his filmography has been littered with flops. His latest project, The Do-Over, holds a dismal 5 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and others like The Ridiculous Six (2015) and Pixels (2015) didn’t fare much better. Now, he’s poised to appear in Sandy Wexler, an upcoming comedy set to debut on Netflix in April.
The teaser trailer for Sandy Wexler (featured above) sees Sandler return to his roots. Set in 1994, the movie follows the actor as the titular character, a Los Angeles talent manager who’s representing a group of clients on the fringes of show business. His commitment to the job is put through the ringer when he begins to fall for his newest client, a talented singer named Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson), whom he discovers in an amusement park. Also appearing are Kevin James, Terry Crews, Lamorne Morris, Nick Swardson, Rob Schneider, Jane Seymour, Aaron Neville, and Arsenio Hall.
From the 30 second clip, Sandler’s role seems to align with one of his more famous parts: the lovable but woefully oblivious Billy Madison. In it, he wanders onto a movie set and interrupts the cast, only to be quickly escorted off the premises. For a first look, it’s not much to go by, but admittedly isn’t all that dazzling.
Though Netflix is a proven competitor when it comes to original content, Sandler seems to have the cards stacked against him. He co-wrote the script alongside Paul Sado and Dan Bulla, both of whom he worked with on The Ridiculous Six, and he also re-teamed with Do-Over director Steven Brill. Collectively, they don't have a stellar track record: both Ridiculous Six and Do-Over were released on Netflix and critically panned, which doesn’t bode well for Sandy Wexler.
Still, Jennifer Hudson’s casting is intriguing. She won an Oscar for her standout performance as Effie White in Dreamgirls, and followed with a brilliant turn in The Secret Life of Bees. The hope is that she wouldn't sign on for a project that wasn’t up to snuff, so perhaps Sandler and company have a surprise up their sleeves. Here’s to hoping they can pull it off.
Sandy Wexler will premiere on Netflix April 14, 2017.