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Tarantino wrote this Inglorious Basterds character for Adam Sandler

We very nearly got Adam Sandler in a Quentin Tarantino movie, which would have been very strange but also probably really great, too

Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems

Can you imagine Adam Sandler appearing in one of Quentin Tarantino’s bloody and brutal thriller movie? Well, it very nearly happened, after Tarantino revealed he wrote a part in Inglorious Basterds especially for the Sandman.

By and large, Sandler is mainly known for his work in the comedy movie genre. In fact, up until the 2020 A24 movie Uncut Gems, Sandler’s only deviation from the funny man persona was in the Paul Thomas Anderson movie Punch-Drunk Love, way back in 2002.

Well, it could all have been very different had Tarantino got his own way. In an appearance on Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast, the filmmaker revealed how he had offered Sandler a part in the war movie Inglorious Basterds, but scheduling issues got in the way.

In fact, Tarantino had written the role of the Bear Jew specifically for Sandler. Ultimately, Sandler had already signed on to Judd Apatow’s humorous drama movie Funny People, and the role in Tarantino’s movie eventually went to Eli Roth.

Tarantino told Apatow: “Obviously, he should’ve done yours because of the whole thing of it. I mean, you start with the f—ing video cassette of you guys as kids. But yeah, the Bear Jew was going to… I wrote the Bear Jew for Adam Sandler.”

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Tarantino was working on the script for Inglorious Basterds way back when he and Sandler were making the 2000s movie Little Nicky together, and it sounds like Sandler was super excited about the prospect of taking on the role of the Bear Jew.

“When I was doing Little Nicky, he’s telling me like, ‘Oh man, I get to f—ing beat up Nazis with a bat? F—ing script! F—ing awesome! I can’t f—ing wait! I can’t f—ing wait!’ He was like telling every Jewish guy, ‘I’m going to f—ing play this guy who beats up Nazis with a f—ing bat,” Tarantino added.

For more from the Sandman, check out our list of the best Adam Sandler movies, or read up on why Adam Sandler should stick to serious movies.