Quentin Tarantino on Originally Wanting Adam Sandler for 'Inglourious Basterds' Role

The Brad Pitt-starring film was produced at the same time as Judd Apatow's ‘Funny People,’ which saw Adam Sandler starring alongside Seth Rogen.

Tarantion and Sandler are seen in side by side image splice

Images via Getty/Jonas Walzberg/picture alliance & Getty/Bryan Bedder/Netflix

Tarantion and Sandler are seen in side by side image splice

Quentin Tarantino has opened up about wanting Adam Sandler for a key part in his Hitler-killing epic Inglourious Basterds.

As fans of both will note, Sandler’s would-be appearance in the 2009 film (and its connection to that year’s Funny People) has been discussed in the past. This instance, however, is particularly unique in that it sees Tarantino getting specific about his intentions to cast Sandler, all while making a podcast appearance alongside Funny People director Judd Apatow.

First, as seen in the full video of the two’s Club Random appearance below, Tarantino talks about first being introduced to Sandler and company during Little Nicky. In the comedy, released in 2000, Tarantino made a cameo as a deacon. After some mutual reflections on this time period, Apatow offered up an apology of sorts around the 8:18 mark.

“I feel bad because when I did Funny People with Sandler, I wasn’t aware that that was the exact time that you were trying to use him for Inglourious Basterds,” Apatow said.

In response, Tarantino noted that Sandler “obviously” should have made Funny People. From there, he detailed how it all went down from his perspective.

“I wrote the Bear Jew for Adam Sandler,” Tarantion told Apatow and podcast host Bill Maher. “When I was doing Little Nicky , I’m telling him [and he’s like], ‘Oh man, I get to fucking beat the Naziz with a bat? This is fucking awesome. I can’t fucking wait. I can’t fucking wait!’ He was, like, telling every Jewish guy like, ‘I’m gonna fucking play this guy who beats up Nazis with a fucking bat!’”

Asked to clarify further, Tarantino pointed out the closely overlapping schedules of both films while noting that Sandler had “literally just signed” for Funny People. Later, he joked that Apatow had assembled “all the good Jews” for his film.

“Seth Rogen, all the good Jews were doing Funny People,” he said. “I’m killing Hitler with baseball bats and there’s no good Jews available.”

The bat-wielding Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz, of course, was ultimately played by Eli Roth.

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This year, Tarantino released what his first non-fiction novel Cinema Speculation. His most recent film, 2019’s Oscar-winning Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was previously expanded in novel form and marked the director’s inaugural book release.

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