It’s easy to dismiss Adam Sandler with a wave of the hand; to cast him aside as the man who made Grown Ups, Jack and Jill, and Grown Ups 2. After all, he did make Grown Ups, Jack and Jill, and Grown Ups 2. But there’s a softer, gentler, legitimately talented side to Sandler that’s far more uncommon. This Bizarro-Sandler can be viewed in the film Punch-Drunk Love (and to a lesser extent, Reign Over Me, Spanglish, and Funny People).

Now, the latest filmmaker to try and coax Sandler out of his shell (a shell that’s 15% deer urine and 85% Kevin James) is Thomas McCarthy, the man behind indie hits The Station Agent and The Visitor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sandler is negotiating to star in McCarthy’s latest directorial outing, The Cobbler, playing a man who can “metaphysically step into the lives of the people whose shoes he repairs.”

It’s very possible that Sandler has simply mistaken The Cobbler as a companion piece to Click, and won’t take the role when he finds out he can’t wear a fatsuit or rip a fart in David Hasselhoff’s face. But it could also mark the beginning of a genuine Sandler comeback. If he’s anywhere near as good as he was in Punch-Drunk Love, it’ll be worth it.

And if Kevin James gets a supporting role in The Cobbler, we’ll all agree to avoid it like the plague.

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