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Disruptor: Adam Sandler Goes Big With First Netflix Film

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If anyone thought Adam Sandler would pad his 4 picture Netflix deal with television-level films, the details behind Sandler’s first production will put that to rest. News of the “Ridiculous 6” will also put a chill down the spine of anyone desperate to hold on to the old. Sandler is going big with his first Netflix release, and that could be another jump-start in the slow-motion streaming revolution.

The Wrap:

Adam Sandler has lined up a ridiculous cast for “Ridiculous 6,” a Happy Madison production that will be the first film under his groundbreaking deal with Netflix, TheWrap has learned.

According to insiders close to the project, Sandler will star alongside “Grown Ups 2″ frat boy Taylor Lautner, three-time Oscar nominee Nick Nolte, “The Voice” judge Blake Shelton and comedian Whitney Cummings, as well as Happy Madison regulars Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Dan Aykroyd, Will Forte, Nick Swardson, Terry Crews, Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice, the latter of whom stole several scenes in “That’s My Boy.”

Luke Wilson, Steve Zahn, and Danny Trejo will also star in Sandler’s comedy-Western, that will obviously spoof  “The Magnificent Seven.”

HBO produces HBO films. The Hallmark Channel produces Hallmark Channel films. In other words, television movies have always been made-for-television films.

Until now.

Netflix and Sandler are producing a THEATRICAL film for television. Before signing the 4 picture deal with Netflix, “Ridiculous 6” was set up at two major studios.

Netflix makes no secret of its desire to be a disruptor in the business of theatre-going. The whole idea behind this Sandler move is for Netflix to see what happens after offering its customers a first-run movie-movie from one of America’s only remaining bankable stars.

If “Ridiculous 6” is a success for Netflix, if people tune in and subscriptions jump, this silly little comedy could be a true game changer. Netflix will pay more big stars big money. Other streaming distributors will follow suit. The buggy-whip makers theatre owners will crybaby and realize the mistake they made acting like union thugs when it came to studios wanting to try different release windows.

With our 60-inch plasma screens and 5.1 surround sound systems, do we really need to see a comedy in a movie theatre? Movies like “Interstellar” will always be theatrical experiences, as will action spectacles and auteur films.

Do we really need to see every comedy, thriller, and drama in theatres?

The communal experience can be nice. It can also ruin the experience. It’s nice to get out of the house. It is also expensive.

Theatre owners don’t want to give us a choice. Every time a studio floats the idea of releasing a Big Film in theatres and on Video On Demand the same day, theatre owners kill the experiment with boycott threats. When Netflix announced its intention to release the upcoming sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” on Netflix and IMAX at the same time, IMAX owners strangled the notion in the crib.

So Netflix signed Adam Sandler.

And now a whole lot of people who would have bought a whole lot of popcorn and soda to see “Ridiculous 6” in a movie theatre are going to stay home.

God bless the free market.

John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC             


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