What's next for Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson? The ''Anger Management'' box office champs both have movies in the works -- but not together

By Brian Hiatt
Updated April 23, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler: Vince Bucci/Getty Images

”Anger Management” fans, take a deep breath (or start singing ”I Feel Pretty”) — there’s bad news coming. Despite the movie’s record-setting, $42 million first-weekend gross, May-December odd couple Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson haven’t yet discussed a sequel to the lowbrow comedy smash. The actors are already filming their next projects, however, they’re both comedies. Nicholson is teaming with Keanu Reeves in an as-yet-untitled flick, while Sandler is reviving his ”Wedding Singer” pairing with Drew Barrymore in the amnesia comedy ”50 First Kisses,” directed by ”Management” helmer Peter Segal.

In his new film, which lacks a release date as well as a title, Nicholson plays a middle-aged man who’s dating a young woman (insert typecasting joke here). The girlfriend, played by Amanda Peet, takes him home to meet her mother (Diane Keaton). There, he promptly suffers a heart attack — and falls in love with Keaton (who worked with the movie’s director, Nancy Meyers on ”Father of the Bride.”) Though Keanu Reeves plays the young doctor who treats Nicholson, a Columbia Pictures spokesperson denies reports that their characters will be rivals for the affections of Keaton’s character (so maybe Keanu will go for Peet). In any case, Nicholson’s apparently ongoing strategy of working with younger male stars is clever, says veteran casting director Billy Hopkins: ”It gets him a broader-based audience, and builds a new audience.”

”50 First Kisses,” tentatively due early next year, seems targeted at the same date-movie audience that helped ”The Wedding Singer” gross $80 million. In it, Drew Barrymore will go way beyond her usual flightiness, suffering from a ”Memento”-style case of amnesia that makes her think each time she meets Sandler is the first. Sandler pal Rob Schneider will play his best buddy, while ”Lord of the Rings”’ Sean Astin will be Barrymore’s brother. Sandler has several possible post-”Kisses” projects in the works, but hasn’t decided on a specific move, his publicist says. So how about that ”Management” sequel?