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Adam Sandler Says Netflix asked Him To Film new movie out of China – ‘Hustle’

Adam Sandler. Jason Merritt/Getty Images


Adam Sandler Says Netflix asked Him To Film new movie out of China – ‘Hustle’


Adam Sandler says Netflix requested him to shift the premise and location of his next sports comedy from China to Spain because the streaming service isn’t available in China.

Sandler stars as a down-on-his-luck basketball scout who discovers a street-ball superstar he wants to sign with an NBA franchise. The would-be star is played by Memphis Grizzlies’ Juancho Hernangomez.

During a Thursday interview on “The Dan Patrick Show,” the 54-year-old “Uncut Gems” actor delivered the surprise while discussing his new sports comedy “Hustle,” which is presently through post-production.

“It was written originally that I find a player in China and somehow, Netflix is not in China. So they were like, ‘Would you guys please make it so we find someone in Latin America or Europe?’” Sandler told Patrick. “So the next thing you know, I’m in Majorca [Spain].”

Netflix is not available in China, the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, despite its rising popularity in other Asian countries such as Japan. In Crimea, North Korea, and Syria, the streamer is likewise unavailable. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told CNBC last year that the firm was not interested in breaking into the Chinese market.

“We got turned down by the Chinese government several years ago. And we have not been spending any time on China in the last couple years,” he said, adding later: “There’s so much opportunity for us in Asia, the rest of Asia — India, in particular, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and then all through Europe and Latin America.”


The original location is still included in the film’s summary on the official Internet Movie Database ( page as of Wednesday morning: “A washed-up basketball scout discovers a phenomenal streetball player while in China and sees the prospect as his opportunity to get back into the NBA.”

Patrick, who makes a cameo in the film, was taken aback when he learned that the plot had been altered. “Wait, that’s how that happened?” he asked, to which Sandler replied, “Yeah, it was originally, ‘find a player in China.’”

Sandler later said in an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” that Hernangómez outacted him in every scene they shot together.

“He acts better than me in every scene,” Sandler said. “It’s just like, goddammit, this guy is falling, crying in the middle of a scene, doing the right thing. Every joke he says, I’m like, ‘He said it smoother than I would have.’”

The alleged directive to Sandler comes amid ongoing tensions between the NBA and China. Daryl Morey, then-general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong in 2019, angering Chinese officials, who cut ties with the NBA and limited watching of games.

Under the direction of Jeremiah Zagar, who previously directed “We the Animals,” “Hustle” also includes veteran performers Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, and Robert Duvall. LeBron James, who recently appeared in and co-produced “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” is named as a producer.

Taylor Materne and Will Fetters wrote the script, which was directed by Jeremiah Zagar. The film was produced by Happy Madison, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, and LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company.

“Hustle” is Sandler’s seventh collaboration with Netflix. The actor-comedian inked a production contract with Netflix in 2014, and the relationship has proven to be an effective strategy in drawing viewers, according to Netflix. Sandler’s comedy “Murder Mystery,” starring Jennifer Aniston, was the most popular film on Netflix in the United States in 2019 and one of the most popular films in eight other countries, according to the company.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. shadow eagle

    April 9, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    so why didnt they pick another asian country?????

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