Adam Sandler, Netflix tee up a 'Happy Gilmore' sequel nearly 30 years after the original hit theaters: What to know

Adam Sandler in
Adam Sandler in the original Happy Gilmore from 1996. (Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection) (©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Netflix has officially teed up a sequel to the 1996 Adam Sandler golf comedy Happy Gilmore.

The streamer announced at its upfront presentation on Wednesday that Happy Gilmore 2, starring Adam Sandler in his original role as a former ice hockey player successfully taking out his anger issues on the fairway, was in the works.

There had been previous murmurings that plans were in motion before Netflix's May 15 announcement.

Christopher McDonald, who played Shooter McGavin in the original, was the first to divulge that a sequel was in the works.

“Here’s a quick intel,” McDonald said, appearing on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima in March.. “I saw Adam [Sandler] two weeks ago … he shows me the first draft of Happy Gilmore2 … It’s in the works. Fans demand it, damn it!”

Christopher McDonald
Christopher McDonald as Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore. (Universal/courtesy Everett Collection) (©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Sandler himself confirmed the news on the Dan Patrick Show on April 3.

Sandler explained to Patrick that he told McDonald, "We've been talking about a Happy2 and we're working on some stuff. ... But don't tell anybody."

When Patrick joked that Sandler shouldn’t have trusted him with the news, Sandler replied, “Well, I was excited that Shooter was in the room with me, I love him.”

The actor, now 57, continued, “We love Happy Gilmore, we don't want to let anybody down. People have talked to me about this for many years. ... We're going to work hard and make sure it's good."

McDonald isn't wrong to say fans are invested. One of Sandler’s longtime collaborators and friends, Drew Barrymore, was also eagerly awaiting more details on the film.

On the April 4 edition of her talk show, Barrymore mentioned the possibility of a Happy Gilmore 2, saying “I want it, I need it," in reaction to the sequel news. “I stayed up last night with my daughter watching Billy Madison and then I sent Sandler of video that and then he sent another video back and I’m waiting to see if he’s confirming about the Happy Gilmore 2 script.”

Barrymore then announced her “breaking news. … I’ll just say this, from my source, that it is in process."

Happy Gilmore, directed by Dennis Dugan, tells the story of an unsuccessful hockey player (Sandler) with a problematic hot temper and newfound love for golf. His signature run swing makes him a standout and he enters a tournament with the hopes of saving his grandmother’s home.

The original film reportedly trended in the top 10 movies on Netflix as rumors about the sequel percolated. Yahoo Entertainment contacted Netflix for comment to confirm, but got no immediate response.

For the film’s 25th anniversary, Sandler’s Happy Gilmore co-star, Julie Bowen, told Yahoo that she didn’t expect the film to hit as strongly as Happy’s golf swing.

“At the time I just thought, ‘Oh, no one will ever see this,’” Bowen said. “ I couldn’t have been more wrong.”

Julie Bowen and Adam Sandler in
Julie Bowen and Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore. (Joseph Lederer/Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection) (©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Sandler told Patrick that the film was a success upon release, “but not a smash-a-rooney. It did well down the line, it kept doing some business, at that time, the VHS and the DVD of it all. But when it came out the gate, it did good enough.”

The actor explained the movie cost around $10 million to make and earned almost $40 million, “which was a success back then.”

According to Box Office Mojo, the film made $38 million at the domestic box office, and $41 million worldwide.

There's no timeline yet for part two, but fans can expect to feel nostalgic.

In his interview with Patrick, Sandler shared that he’s teaming up once again with his college roommate Tim Herlihy, with whom he co-wrote the original, adding that "Netflix is excited about it.”

“We're working on it. Me and Herlihy are diligently trying to make a reason for everyone to come and watch and have a good time,” he said. “We’ve been jamming, we have a million ideas already, we just gotta make it a movie and make sure we’re excited about people enjoying it.”

While some of the actors in the original movie, including Bob Barker, Carl Weathers and Joe Flaherty, have died, Sandler told Patrick he plans to honor them in Happy Gilmore 2.

Carl Weathers and Adam Sandler. (Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)
Carl Weathers and Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore. (Universal/courtesy Everett Collection) (©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

“We love those guys, they’re such a big part of the movie and such great people,” he explained. “We’re going to get them involved somehow.”

Laura Clark contributed reporting

Updated, May 15, 2024 at 4:00 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to reflect Netflix confirmed the sequel.