June 30, 2021
If you've ever been told you look like you could be an NBA player — and you have a solid set of skills on the basketball court — you may be able to snag a role as an extra in the upcoming Netflix movie "Hustle."
The film, which began production in the Philadelphia area last fall, is co-produced by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company and SpringHill Entertainment, a production company founded by NBA superstar LeBron James and his close friend, Maverick Carter. Roth/Kirschenbaum Films also is a co-producer.
A casting call put out this week is looking for "highly skilled basketball players" between 18-30 years old to attend tryouts at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Del. on Sunday, July 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hustle Hoops Casting and Heery-Loftus Casting, the team behind the event, said they're looking for background talent to portray NBA players in a non-speaking role. The agency added that their priority is to hire Philadelphia area locals. The Facebook post suggests there may be additional casting calls for "Hustle" ahead of the production's return to the area later this summer and fall.
As far as what they're looking for specifically, it's a pretty high bar. They want guys who are preferably 6'5'' or taller and who have a "long, lean and strong" appearance. The talent level should be equivalent to former D1 or overseas players.
Anyone who currently plays or intends to play in the NCAA will not be eligible for the role. That includes people over 18 who expect to play college basketball next season. They'll lose eligibility if they're cast for the film.
The tryouts are expected to last 45 minutes or longer, and those who attend are asked to come dressed and ready to play. No RSVP or check-in will be necessary, but some personal information will be collected at the gym on the day of the event.
Since the gym is rented for much of the morning and afternoon, Hustle Hoops Casting advises that not everybody show up at 9 a.m. There are no fees for tryouts and parking is available at the 76ers Fieldhouse, which is located at 401 Garasches Lane in Wilmington. No spectators are allowed.
Players who are picked will be called back for filming in the Philadelphia area around the end of August and into September. Extras will be paid a standard movie background rate.
"Hustle" will star Adam Sandler as Stanley Beren, a struggling NBA scout who attempts to revive his career by bring a troubled overseas prospect to the United States. The prospect is played by Minnesota Timberwolves forward Juancho Hernangomez, who will make his acting debut.
The Netflix film also features Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall and Ben Foster, among others.
The cast of HUSTLE—starring Adam Sandler as a basketball scout who discovers a player abroad with a rocky past—just got better. Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall, Ben Foster, Juancho Hernangomez, Jordan Hull, Maria Botto, Ainhoa Pillet & Kenny Smith join Sandler in the upcoming film🏀 pic.twitter.com/JKM5UOsEoI— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) October 19, 2020
The script was written by Taylor Materne ("NBA 2K20," "Dominoes") and Will Fetters ("A Star is Born," "The Best of Me"). Jeremiah Zagar will handle directing duties after his highly-praised 2018 film, "We The Animals." Zagar has local ties to Philadelphia, where his mother owns the art space Eyes Gallery on South Street. His father, Isaiah Zagar, is the artist behind the Magic Gardens.
Sandler has embraced his love of basketball in recent years, including his standout performance alongside Kevin Garnett in the Safdie brothers' 2019 crime thriller "Uncut Gems." Netflix has signed on with Happy Madison to produce four more films.
Last October, Sandler endeared himself to Philadelphia by purchasing a couple of guitars from DiPinto Guitars in Fishtown. Film crews for Hustle were spotted at locations including Girard College, the Italian Market and 13th and Market streets in Center City. Scenes also have been filmed in Chester, Coatesville and Camden, N.J.
A release date for "Hustle" has not yet been determined.