Adam Sandler’s relationship with Netflix couldn’t be any stronger. In 2014, Sandler signed an exclusive four-picture deal with the streaming service giant to both star in and produce, using his Happy Madison company. In 2017, Sandler signed another four-picture deal to act and produce for Netflix. And now, word recently came out that Sandler is going to space. Sandler’s new Netflix film will be a screen adaptation of the sci-fi novel by Czech author Jaroslav Kalfar, Spaceman of Bohemia.
Spaceman Of Bohemia’s Plot
The 2017 Kalfar novel Spaceman of Bohemia tells the story of Czech astronaut Jakub Procházka, who is the republic’s first astronaut. Jakub is an astrophysicist who agrees to take on an eight-month mission to explore a cloud of dust and particles near the planet of Venus when no other country is willing to send one of their astronauts on the potentially fatal mission. Jakub’s mission is to fly to the dust cloud and collect particles so scientists can determine why it is making the sky turn purple at night and why the cloud is beginning to eat itself.
For this mission, Jakub must leave his wife Lenka behind. Jakub speaks to Lenka daily, but the stress of the mission and her feeling of abandonment cause the destruction of their marriage while Jakub is out in space.
Their separation causes major depression and an alcohol problem for Jakub. He begins to question his mental health when he starts to hear voices. He feels he has lost his mind when he starts to see a giant talking spider walking around his space shuttle. Despite his possible mental breakdown, Jakub decides to give the spider a name, Hanuš. Jakub finally realizes the spider is real when Hanuš reveals he is a space alien sent to observe and report on human life.
Adam Sandler playing a character whose mental status comes into question in Spaceman of Bohemia isn’t a stretch for the Sandman. Sandler has a history of crazy characters, from Billy Madison to Happy Gilmore to Bobby Boucher in The Waterboy, Sandler’s ability to play characters with questionable mental faculties is well within his range.
He has also shown that he can get serious when need be. His turn as Howard Ratner in the critically-acclaimed Uncut Gems garnered Sandler a ton of Hollywood street cred and Oscar buzz. Sandler even went on the Howard Stern Show and warned that if he didn’t nab a nomination for Uncut Gems that he was “going to fucking come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay. That’s how I get them.”
He did not get that Academy Award nomination, as so many had been predicting, and although it’s not clear if this was the film intended as his retaliation, Hubie Halloween came out in October of this year. While the film didn’t receive as poor reviews as other Netflix originals like The Ridiculous 6, it was a step down from more daring films like Uncut Gems. As of right now, it is unclear who else will be starring alongside Sandler in Spaceman of Bohemia.
Who Is Making Spaceman of Bohemia
How much of Jaroslav Kalfar’s novel transfers to the screen is unknown. The story, though, does lend itself to an interesting screen adaptation, certainly giving Sandler a more layered role than his usual Netflix originals. The screenplay is being written by Colby Day, who has written the shorts Perks and Happy Vacation, as well as the feature, 2011’s I Don’t Want to Kill Myself.
Johan Renck has been tapped to to direct Spaceman of Bohemia. Renck is best known for directing the HBO mini-series Chernobyl. He also has credits on shows like The Last Panthers, The Walking Dead, Bates Motel, and Vikings. Renck is also attached to the upcoming series The Last of Us, based on the hit video game. Renck said in a statement via Variety, “As we prepare for our voyage to Chopra, I couldn’t be more pleased to have found the perfect partner in Adam. And now, with the support of the brilliant Netflix family, I am profoundly excited to set off on our impossible journey.”
Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Peter Kiernan, and Michael Parets will be producing the movie via their Free Association company, and Tim Headington, Lia Buman, and Max Silva for Tango Entertainment will join in. Executive producers for Spaceman include Ben Ormand, Renck, and Barry Bernardi. Even though Adam Sandler will star in the movie, his Happy Madison Productions will not be involved, so the movie is not part of his new four-picture deal with Netflix.
While the movie is not part of Sandler’s new deal, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos was extremely pleased with the continued relationship between Sandler and the streaming service. He said in a statement via The Verge, “Whether you know him as Sandman, the Water Boy, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Nick Spitz or simply Adam, one thing is clear: our members can’t get enough of him. They love his stories and his humor, as we saw with Murder Mystery. So, I could not be more excited to extend our partnership with Adam and the Happy Madison team and deliver more laughs around the world.”
What Will Be Spaceman of Bohemia’s Tone
As Spaceman of Bohemia goes forward, it will be interesting to see how this fits into Adam Sandler’s filmography. Will this have more of a comedy lean that the description hints, fitting alongside his other Netflix films like Murder Mystery and Hubie Halloween, or will this be another in Sandler’s impressive lineup of more dramatic roles like Uncut Gems, Punch-Drunk Love, and Reign on Me. While we don’t know when Spaceman of Bohemia is scheduled to come out, it will be fascinating to see which version of Sandler we get in this intriguing new project.