Adam Sandler’s career is a steady stream of blockbuster juvenile comedies like The Waterboy and Anger Management occasionally interrupted by great performances in more dramatic roles. His latest role, as Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems, was a prime example of the latter.
Sandler was widely expected to garner his first Oscar nomination for the performance, and he was clearly feeling confident when he appeared on the Howard Stern Show in December and made a very specific threat.
“If I don’t get [an Oscar nomination for Best Actor], I’m going to fucking come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay.”
Weeks later, when the Academy Award nominations dropped, Sandler’s name was not on the list of Best Actor nominees. This was something of a surprise to both Sandler and the Oscar prognosticators, one that the actor nonetheless handled with grace on Twitter.
Bad news: Sandman gets no love from the Academy.
Good news: Sandman can stop wearing suits.
Congrats to all my friends who got nominated, especially Mama. pic.twitter.com/o1Ep3E7GRB
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) January 13, 2020
Sandler’s snub is bad news for him, but possibly even worse news for us. It gave him a motive to follow through on his threat, and Netflix just gave him the means and opportunity to do so with a new four-picture contract.
The streaming service has been Sandler’s home since 2015, and during that time he’s made The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, The Week Of, and Murder Mystery—Sandler comedies that attract big audiences despite (and maybe partially because) they’re hated by critics.
Netflix says that audiences have watched two billion hours of these movies, so its choice to extend him is obvious. He already has a movie in postproduction that will stream on the service: Hubie Halloween, a comedy that stars frequent collaborators like Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider alongside Ray Liotta, Maya Rudolph, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Of course, that movie was written before Sandler’s Oscar snub, so it isn’t the movie he might make to punish the Academy. Of course, we may never know if he actually does follow through on his threat. Because let’s face it: if Jack and Jill was the product of Sandler trying to make a good movie, it’s hard to imagine how much worse he could do trying to make a bad movie.