Adam Sandler and the word "cobblers" have been mentioned in the same sentence before. But spare, perhaps, a more kindly thought than usual for his upcoming opus The Cobbler. Eschewing the recent low-brow antics of the likes of Grown Ups 2, this one promises to be one of Sandler's occasional more credible outings. Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Win Win) is the director, and EW has just released the first still.
A slightly shabby Sandler is enjoying his morning coffee there - unless he's asking passers by for spare change. Perhaps business is bad in the shoe repair industry. That's likely not the only string to his bow though. He probably does keys too.
A bit more whimsical than McCarthy's previous works, The Cobbler involves some magic-realist elements, as Sandler's lonely joe comes into posession of some specialist footwear that allows him to "walk in another man's shoes", seeing the world through the eyes of some of his customers.
"Adam has a very soulful quality to him,” says McCarthy, playing up the idea that, Sandler-wise, this might be more Reign Over Me than Jack And Jill. “One of the things that makes Adam right for [the role] is that he... can make even the smallest, simplest moments funny, [and he] transitions really well from comedy to drama."
Kicking The Cobbler up a further notch is the cast around Sandler, which includes Dustin Hoffman, Dan Stevens and Ellen Barkin. Frequent Sandler-collaborator Steve Buscemi is also on hand, playing the owner of the barber shop next door to Sandler's establishment.
The film is currently in production in New York, with no release dates yet.