Adam Sandler is heading to space in his next Netflix movie.
But despite its somewhat goofy title, The Spaceman of Bohemia will not be a comedy like Hubie Halloween, Murder Mystery, or The Ridiculous 6. Instead, it’s a drama that’s being directed by Johan Renck, the filmmaker behind HBO’s excellent, ultra-serious limited series Chernobyl. Talk about an unexpected combination of elements.
Deadline reports that Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Vikings) is set to direct The Spaceman of Bohemia, which is based on Jaroslav Kalfar’s 2017 novel. Sandler will play an astronaut who is selected to go on a dangerous mission: he must travel to a mysterious cloud of particles called Chopra, suspended between Earth and Venus, and collect samples to find out what it is. (I’m sensing some shades of “the Shimmer” from Annihilation.) But once he leaves Earth, the astronaut “finds his earthly life falling to pieces and he turns to the only voice who can help him try to put it back together. It just so happens to belong to a creature from the beginning of time lurking in the shadows of his ship.” Whoa. Yes, please. That sounds amazing.
For the most part, I have nothing against Adam Sandler’s comedies. They’re goofy and dumb, sometimes charmingly so, and they give audiences mainstream Hollywood comedies in an era where those are rapidly disappearing. (They also give Sandler the chance to travel the world and make movies in cool locations with his family and friends, which is pretty much the textbook definition of the phrase “living the dream.”)
But something special happens when Sandler agrees to be in a drama. There’s spark in the air, jolting through us with flashes of Uncut Gems, Punch-Drunk Love, and Funny People to remind us of the potential Sandler has to absolutely crush a role when he puts his mind to it. Again, no shade on those cheesy comedies – it takes a whole separate skill to be able to pull those off the way he does – but as someone who doesn’t particularly care for the Hubie Halloweens and The Do-Overs of the world, this is something I can get excited about.
Up-and-coming screenwriter Colby Day is writing the script, and Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Peter Kiernan, and Michael Parets will serve as producers.
“As we prepare for our voyage to Chopra, I couldn’t be more pleased to have found the perfect partner in Adam,” Renck said in a statement. “And now, with the support of the brilliant Netflix family, I am profoundly excited to set off on our impossible journey.”
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