BREAKING: Days after setting Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend as its first theatrical feature, Netflix has set a quartet of films that will star Adam Sandler, who’ll produce the features under his Happy Madison banner. The films will bypass theaters and be made available directly to Netflix subscribers in 50 countries.
The major theatrical chains responded to the deal for Crouching Tiger 2 by saying they would not show the film, which also will play IMAX screens. As studios and theaters fight over closing the windows between theatrical and home entertainment to make films more like the user-friendly programming in television, it was inevitable that a disruptive upstart like Netflix would start making features. If stars like Sandler sign up to headline them, this protesting from theater chains soon will be like theater owners arguing they are hanging on to the horse-drawn cart business while others are going with cars. This deal is an important next step. While Sandler has made his share of underperforming movies like the recently released Blended, he certainly is a branded performer.
He is quite good in The Cobbler, the Thomas McCarthy-directed film that premiered at Toronto. It has been the Happy Madison-produced films that underwhelmed, but it’s possible that a new platform will benefit him. Sandler’s film long have been hot rental titles for Netflix, according to the company.
“People love Adam’s films on Netflix and often watch them again and again,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “His appeal spans across viewers of all ages — everybody has a favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line — not just in the U.S. but all over the world.”
Said Sandler: “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!”