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Home Team - What We Know So Far

Since 2015, Netflix has served as a major home for the latest films from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions. So far under the streaming service, Sandler's company has released a total of eight films and one stand-up comedy special. Initially, Sandler's deal with Netflix began in 2014 with a contract for four films, but the actor re-signed in 2017 for an additional four films.

Given how well some of Happy Madison's content has been received on Netflix, it's easy to see why the service would still be interested in Sandler's projects. 2019's "Murder Mystery," which starred Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, was Netlfix's most-watched movie that year. Netflix is probably banking on similar success with Happy Madison's upcoming project, "Home Team," which will be a football-based movie. "Home Team" is a family sports comedy, but unlike some of its older pigskin comedy cousins from Sandler like "The Waterboy" or "The Longest Yard," the movie will actually star Kevin James instead of Sandler, and it's loosely based on a true story about New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.

Here's everything we know so far about "Home Team."

What's the release date for Home Team?

An official release date for "Home Team" hasn't been revealed just yet. In fact, it appears that "Home Team" is still in early development, as much of its main cast was only revealed recently. USA Today's Saints Wire reported that filming would begin sometime this year. More specifically, Project Casting noted that production should start in May of this year in New Orleans and Los Angeles, so we can definitely rule out a 2021 release for the movie. 

As the U.S. continues its efforts at COVID-19 vaccination and states change and tweak their response to the pandemic, we don't know how that will affect the progress of filming, and Happy Madison may also debut another project before "Home Team." The production company started filming "Hustle," a basketball sports drama starring Adam Sandler, in 2020 (via CBS Philly). A release date hasn't been revealed yet for "Hustle," but it's more likely we'll see it before "Home Team." Based on this, we can expect "Home Team" around early to mid-2022.

Who's in the cast for Home Team?

Much of the official cast for "Home Team" has been revealed. As Deadline reported, Kevin James will star as New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton. This role should feel good for James, who's definitely no stranger to being in Sandler's films. Saints Wire noted that the actor played football and wrestled in high school. And of course, James got to train in MMA for "Here Comes The Boom." The movie will also star Taylor Lautner and Rob Schneider, although their roles haven't been revealed yet.

Deadline also reported that the rest of the cast announced will include Jackie Sandler, Gary Valentine, Tait Blum, Ashley D. Kelley, Jacob Perez, Maxwell Simkins, Bryant Tardy, Liam Kyle, Manny Magnus, Christopher Farrar, Merek Mastrov, Isaiah Mustafa, Allen Covert, Lavell Crawford, Anthony L. Fernandez, and Jared Sandler. Christopher Titone and Keith Blum are writing the script. Charles and Daniel Kinnane, who previously worked with James on a series of viral YouTube videos, are directing.

What's the plot of Home Team?

"Home Team" will try to bring the laughs, but it will also pull from a specific controversial yet redemptive point in New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton's life. The Hollywood Reporter stated that the official plot follows Payton in 2012 on suspension from the NFL two years after his Super Bowl Win. Payton was suspended for his role in the Saints Bounty Scandal, which, per ESPN, was a bounty system where Saints players were awarded bonuses for deliberate hard hits and injuries to players on opposing teams. During his suspension, Payton started reconnecting with his 12-year-old son by coaching his child's Pop Warner football team.

"Home Team" will likely zero in on this point to show how Payton reassessed his life and relationship with his family after his suspension and how coaching his son's team played into that. Saints Wire reported that Payton has already seen the script for "Home Team," given his input, and ultimately awarded it his approval.