Netflix Had ‘Hustle’ Plot Changed For Brand Purposes, Adam Sandler Says

Adam Sandler says Netflix asked that a plot point be changed in his upcoming film Hustle for brand purposes.

The comic-actor dropped by the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday where he mentioned the company’s script request while giving an update on the production. In the film, Sandler plays an NBA recruiter trying to reshape his career with an extraordinary player find.

“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.”

Patrick, who has a cameo in the film, was shocked to learn that the plot was changed for that reason. “Wait, that’s how that happened?” he asked, to which Sandler replied, “Yeah, it was originally find a player in China.”

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The streaming company is currently not available in China. In September of last year, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings commented on the market in an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC, saying: “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.”

In Netflix’s Hustle, Juancho Hernangómez of the Memphis Grizzlies plays the recruit Sandler’s character hopes will help change his fortune.

“[Hernangómez] acts better than me in every scene,” Sandler said. “It’s just like, goddamn it. 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.’”

Hustle also stars Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall and Ben Foster, along with several cameos from NBA players and coaches.

Jeremiah Zagar directs a screenplay by Taylor Materne and Will Fetters. Happy Madison, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment produced the film.

The film’s release date has not been announced.

Listen to the full Sandler interview below.

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