The Cobbler didn’t pull down the rave reviews that writer/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent) is usually accustomed to when it debuted earlier this week at the Toronto Film Festival, but an Adam Sandler movie still demands attention. One of Sandler’s three festival movies, and the only one that he truly carries, was picked up by RLJ/Image Entertainment, which acquired the U.S. rights to The Cobbler for about $3.5 million.
In the fable, Sandler plays a lonely New York shoe-repairman who senses that he’s let life past him by. But when he discovers a magical family heirloom that allows him to literally “walk in another man’s shoes,” he embarks on a great adventure with far-reaching ramifications. Dustin Hoffman, Ellen Barkin, Dan Stevens, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, and Steve Buscemi also star.
On paper, it’s a no-brainer for RLJ/Image, which has typically steered its product straight to video. Sandler might not be the $100 million machine he used to be, but even his last film, the misfire, Blended, grossed more than $46 million. The Cobbler might be a different beast, with McCarthy’s more earnest sensibility, but even his three art-house films have averaged more than $8 million at the box office.
Deadline initially reported the sale.