By John Saeger
Adam Sandler is making waves on Philadelphia social media this week. The actor has been spotted downtown and on the Main Line. He is in town shooting the upcoming film Hustle. The SNL veteran’s movie is slated for Netflix.
According to a spring piece in Variety, the Philly project Hustle is produced by NBA superstar Lebron James. It will feature Sandler as a longtime basketball scout who discovers international talent. The movie appears to have some aspect of redemption as both try to prove that their global success is not a fluke in the U.S.
It is not the first time a sports movie has featured this wrinkle. Jon Hamm tried to strike it rich in the 2014 movie Million Dollar Arm as a sports agent trying to mine baseball talent in India (look out for former Philadelphia Inquirer Phillies beat writer Jayson Stark in a press conference scene).
Albert Brooks and Brendan Frasier paired up in the 1994 film The Scout. The plot appears to be very similar to Hustle, as Brooks’ character is a scout who is assigned to Mexico and stumbles upon local pitching talent. Former Phillies catcher and broadcaster Tim McCarver also makes an appearance in the film as well.
Neither flick did well in the box office, but Adam Sandler has a way of unearthing comedy gold in sports movies. Happy Gilmore, The Longest Yard and The Waterboy brought out the best of his style of physical comedy and it would not be a surprise to see him continue his success with hoops movies that began last year.
Sandler’s 2019 heart-pounding drama Uncut Gems had another basketball tie with Philadelphia. The movie, which also starred NBA legend Kevin Garnett, spun off a fictional story from the 2012 NBA playoff series between Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics.
Hustle is not the only project that brought a major star to the Philadelphia area recently. Kate Winslet resumed filming the HBO series Mare of Easttown this fall. Winslet’s show is written by Brad Ingelsby, a Main Line native who attended Villanova University. Ingelsby also penned The Way Back, a high school basketball film starring Ben Affleck that debuted in 2020.
About the Author: John Saeger is a music and film writer from Philadelphia. Since 2017 he has been writing his pop-culture blog Long After Dark, a site dedicated to the arts in the City