Assembling his first made-for-Netflix movie, Adam Sandler (Grown Ups, 50 First Dates) already has quite an ensemble of cast members poised and ready to begin work on his new western comedy Ridiculous 6. This is the first of four movies that Sandler has agreed to film exclusively for Netflix.
The movie will center around a man(Sandler) who was orphaned as a boy and raised by a Native American tribe. Not many more details are currently known about the plot, but based on Sandler’s previous comedy work, one can assume that the protagonist gets thrust into civilization under silly circumstances.
Among the slotted cast is his usual band of familiar faces, like Rob Schneider and Steve Buschemi, but also joining the fun is Nick Nolte (Gangster Squad, Tropic Thunder) as Sandler’s long-lost father; Luke Wilson (Old School, Idiocracy), Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga, Grown Ups 2) and Terry Crews (Idiocracy, White Chicks) as his half-brothers; and Danny Trejo (Machete) and SNL alum Will Forte as two rival tribe leaders.
A long list of well-known performers have also signed on, including seasoned comedians Whitney Cummings, Jon Lovitz, Steve Zahn, Lavell Crawford, and Chris Parnell. Country singer Blake Shelton is reportedly playing Wyatt Earp, with vintage pop star Vanilla Ice featured as Mark Twain.
A cast of this multitude is impressive considering how Sandler’s popularity has dropped significantly over the past few years. Losing footing with both critics and audiences with films like Just Go With It and That’s My Boy, he earned himself a new record in Razzie Award history with his 2011 flop Jack and Jill. Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos however, seems unfazed, saying in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
Very uniquely, [Sandler] stands out for his global appeal to Netflix subscribers. Even movies that were soft in the U.S. [theatrically] outperformed dramatically on Netflix in the U.S. and around the world.”
Sarandos continues to explain how Sandler’s movies are “very, very repeatable”, and affirms his belief in the actor’s international box office draw. According to Sarandos, if Sandler chooses to make one of the exclusive movies a drama, the four-part arrangement is flexible in terms of genre and will accommodate the actor’s creative wishes.
Commenting on the Netflix deal, Sandler reportedly released a prepared statement, quoting:
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!!!!
Ridiculous 6 is a tongue-in-cheek satire on western classics like The Magnificent Seven, its casting deliberately as ridiculous as its plot. Despite the recent criticism surrounding Sandler, these outlandish and somewhat cartoonish concepts echo his early career; his well-received early films like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy launched his career from SNL member to film comedian, after all.