The serious, bleary eyed, haggard Adam Sandler we all know and love—let’s call him the Uncut Gems Adam Sandler—will be making a somewhat unexpected return to the land of Netflix in the near future. Our first glimpse of the upcoming basketball/NBA drama Hustle can’t help but evoke some degree of Uncut Gems, what with all the NBA player cameos, and even though we’re almost certain it can’t be as emotionally nerve-wracking as the Safdie Brothers’ film, this is still clearly “Sandler the dramatic performer” rather than Sandler the money-grubbing comedian.
In the first Hustle trailer, which you can see below, Sandler can be seen interrogating or berating a European basketball prospect—a guy he says possesses all the talent in the world necessary to break into the ultra competitive world of the NBA. What he questions, naturally, is whether the guy possesses the obsession necessary to carry him to greatness. What presumably follows is a Whiplash-style drama about the levels of personal sacrifice that one must make in a cutthroat basketball scene in order to ascend to the next level … with Sandler stepping into the possibly cruel role of mentor that J.K. Simmons played in Whiplash. It’s a role where we can potentially see him thriving.
Sandler has been laying a little low since the critical acclaim for Uncut Gems in 2019, starring in the likes of Hubie Halloween for Netflix but mostly producing and writing, though he does have several more projects upcoming. He’ll star in Hustle alongside Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, Robert Duvall and NBA player Juan Hernangómez, who appears to be playing his protege. Check out the full trailer below. Hustle is scheduled to hit Netflix on June 10, 2022.