Quentin Tarantino Says He Wrote 'Awesome' 'Inglourious Basterds' Role for Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler's starring role in 2009's Funny People prevented him from starring in Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino and Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler; Quentin Tarantino. Photo: Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty, Jonas Walzberg/picture alliance via Getty

Quentin Tarantino originally wanted Adam Sandler for a key role in his 2009 film Inglourious Basterds.

In an upcoming appearance on Bill Maher's Club Random podcast, excerpted by Variety, guests Tarantino, 59, and Judd Apatow discussed how Sandler's leading role in Apatow's 2009 movie Funny People prevented the actor being in Inglourious Basterds as Sgt. Donny Donowitz, aka "the Bear Jew."

"I was like hanging out with [Apatow's] crew for a while. We went to a bunch of different things together," Tarantino continued, after explaining that he and the comedy producer-director met through Sandler while he did a cameo in the 2000 movie Little Nicky.

"But also Freaks and Geeks had just went off the air or it was on its way to go off the air and I had missed it, but that whole Happy Madison crowd was, like, crazy for it."

During the conversation, Apatow said while making Funny People with Sandler he "wasn't aware that that was the exact time [Tarantino was] trying to use him for Inglorious Basterds," according to Variety.

inglorius bastards
Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds (2009). Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

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"Obviously he should've done your [movie] because of the whole thing of it," Tarantino said during the podcast appearance. "I mean, you start with the f---ing video cassette of you guys as kids. But yeah … I wrote the Bear Jew for Adam Sandler."

"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!' " Tarantino added. "[Sandler] was like telling every Jewish guy, 'I'm going to f---ing play this guy who beats up Nazis with a f---ing bat!' "

The director joked during the conversation that Apatow "wrapped up all the good Jews" as cast members for Funny People while he was making Inglourious Basterds.

"That was the problem. Seth Rogen and all the good Jews were doing Funny People," Tarantino said. "I'm killing Hitler with baseball bats and there's no good Jews available! David Krumholtz, nobody. All the good Jews were all wrapped up! I'm doing the Jewish male fantasy!"

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Despite Tarantino's troubles casting the role, he eventually found his Donny Donowitz in Eli Roth, who starred alongside Brad Pitt's Nazi-hunting group of soldiers in the fictional World War II film. The cast also included Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, B.J. Novak and Léa Seydoux

Sandler was rumored to have been Tarantino's initial choice for the role as far back as 2009, according to MTV News.

Tarantino and Apatow's full appearance on Club Random will be available on Dec. 18.

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