Dugan recalls that he brought in Adam Sandler to audition four times for 1992’s “Brain Donors” but couldn’t convince the producers to cast him. The film circled around the $1 million mark in box office gross. Four years later, Sandler and Dugan “finally hooked up on ‘Happy Gilmore.’ Which did better,” he deadpans. The Dugan-Sandler combo later yielded “Big Daddy,” “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” and “Grown Ups” — with two more films to come in 2011.
With their appearance in this year’s “Grown Ups,” Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade have now each worked with Dugan three times on camera. And 2011’s “Just Go With It” gives Nick Swardson a grand slam of four Dugan collaborations.
Columbia Pictures prexy Doug Belgrad met Dugan while an exec on “Big Daddy” and has collaborated with him on all subsequent films.
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Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal and Dugan share eight films on their resumes. Sony Pictures vice chairman Jeff Blake and production administration prexy Gary Martin have been with Dugan on all nine of his films at the studio, and Columbia senior veep Samuel Dickerman has also been key.
Jack Giarraputo, who first worked with Dugan on “Happy Gilmore,” heads Happy Madison Prods. with Sandler and has worked with Dugan on all subsequent HM films.
Line producer Barry Bernardi has worked with Dugan for the past six years — “almost daily,” Dugan says.
Dugan was one of the original clients at CAA of Ron Meyer, who later moved on to Universal, where he oversaw Dugan’s “Happy Gilmore” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” Bob Gersh was Dugan’s first acting agent.
UTA agent David Kramer has been with Dugan for two decades, as has attorney Jason Sloane (of Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern), who became hooked up with Dugan straight out of law school.
BELOW THE LINE
Production designer Perry Blake has been with Dugan on eight movies since “Billy Madison,” and Danny Silverberg is the first assistant director from past works including “Shasta McNasty” and “Saving Silverman” to 2011’s “Just Go With It” and “Jack and Jill.” “It’s such an itinerant job,” says Dugan of filmmaking. “You try to collect as many really good, dedicated, terrific people as you can. … I look for people who are really good at their job — and if they happen to have a sense of humor, that’s good.”
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