In 2003 Columbia Pictures picked up Fat Man, a spec script from Mike Weiss (The Simpsons) about “an 800-pound man who drops 600 pounds with the help of a nurse he finds more appealing than a Happy Meal.” Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison was set to produce, though Sandler had no particular intention to star.
Flash forward eight years: director Miguel Arteta is at Sundance promoting his latest film Cedar Rapids, and the subject of Fat Man comes up. Arteta is not formally attached to the project, but he hopes that if Sandler “gets the gumption to do it” he will be the one in the director’s chair. Hit the jump to read the whole of what Arteta had to say about the project.
Arteta told First Showing:
“I’d love to do a movie with Adam Sandler that… someone said he was flirting with? It’s called Fat Man. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this? One of the main writers of The Simpsons [Reiss] wrote the script and it’s amazing. He would play an 800lbs. guy who has a love affair between him and his nurse. And he’s naked for the first half of the film… and it’s very touching… and it’s very funny.
So, I hope he gets the gumption to do it, and maybe I get a crack at that, that would be amazing. Certainly, it would be not a movie you would forget anytime soon… and [it’s] beautifully written. I don’t know if that’s meant to get out on the internet…”
The logline sounds like your average Sandler vehicle, but Arteta throws out phrases like “very touching” and “beautifully written.” If that’s the case, I also hope Sandler gets the gumption to do the movie, particularly if Arteta gets involved — I tend to like Sandler’s work best when he gets in touch with the earnest side of his childish comedy. Plus, I’m a huge Simpsons fan, so I inherently trust any writer for the show, especially one so heavily involved in the early years as Reiss was.
(Out of curiosity, I ventured over to the IMDB vault to see which episodes Reiss had written. He has credits on two “Treehouse of Horror” segments, but the highlight has to be “Stark Raving Dad,” which features Michael Jackson as a guest voice and an ending I absolutely adore.)
Sandler is currently attached to I Hate You Dad, Narco, The $40,000 Man, and Valet Guys with Kevin James. He will next be seen in Just Go With It opposite Jennifer Aniston (February 11th), followed by Jack and Jill later in the year.
Cedar Rapids opens on February 11.
Here’s the full synopsis for Fat Man from Variety‘s 2003 report, which hints at the more dramatic aspects of the script:
An 800-pound man who drops 600 pounds with the help of a nurse he finds more appealing than a Happy Meal… Script has dramatic overtones as the portly protagonist undergoes an emotional metamorphosis to rival the obvious physical changes. He’s a bright but bitter and bed-ridden guy whose infatuation with the nurse prompts him to drop weight. As he sheds the pounds, the man faces a king-sized dilemma: What if she doesn’t fall in love with him?