The first movie under the pact could arrive as soon as 2015. Sandler’s Happy Madison Prods. will work with Netflix to develop the four films — presumably comedies, although the genres aren’t set in stone. The Netflix deal does not cover Sandler’s current studio film commitments.
News comes after Netflix earlier this week announced an unusual deal with the Weinstein Co. to release “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” the same day it’s released in IMAX theaters; major U.S. exhibitors, however, have said they will not show the film because of the Netflix arrangement.
Sandler’s films have grossed about $3.9 billion worldwide at the box office, although his most recent film, Warner Bros.’ “Blended,” took in a disappointing $46 million domestically this summer. According to Netflix, he’s among the few actors whose movies consistently rank among the most-viewed by subscribers in the U.S. and in other its other regions, ranging from Brazil to the U.K.
“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,'” Sandler said in a prepared statement. “Let the streaming begin!”
Sandler joined NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” as a writer in 1990 and became featured player the following year. He went on to star in, produce and write numerous films, including “The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy,” “The Longest Yard,” “Big Daddy,” “Anger Management,” “50 First Dates,” “Click,” “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” “Grown Ups” and “Grown Ups 2.”
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Sandler’s 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.”
Sandler’s next two films are Jason Reitman’s “Men, Women & Children” and “The Cobbler,” both of which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. Thesp also stars in Sony Pictures action-comedy “Pixels,” slated to bow July 24, 2015.
Sandler is repped by WME and managed by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.