If you head to the theaters this weekend to enjoy (or endure, if reviews are accurate) the new release Grown-Ups 2, you may notice that one of the “pals” from the first film has been replaced.
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade and Chris Rock are all there, along with many new faces. But in true sit-com style, comedian Nick Swardson is stepping into the hole created by Rob Schneider’s refusal to participate in the second installment of this warm weather buddy comedy franchise. Swardson’s character is apparently the brother of Schneider’s character from the first film and they’ve styled his hair to match.
So why isn’t Rob Schneider in Grown-Ups 2? Is he feuding with Adam Sandler?
Schneider, who seems to be breaking away from the Adam Sandler crowd of late, joked about needing more money to star in the film during a Houston talk radio interview last year: “They’re doing Grown Ups 2 without me. Mistake. They should have paid me a lot of money … Well, truthfully, I wasn’t sure if I’d have my TV series, so it was an availability thing, but at the end of the day, they should have [said], ‘What money does Rob need?'”
Money may not have been the only factor involved in Schneider’s decision not to do the film, which was shot in the summer of 2012. The former SNL star was fresh off a recently canceled CBS sitcom and had gotten married the year before. His wife was, at the time, pregnant with the couple’s first child. She gave birth last November.
Sandler and Schneider have appeared together in at least 18 films, most of the time via cameo appearances.
This list includes: The Waterboy (1996), Big Daddy (1998), Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999), Little Nicky (2000), The Animal (2001), Mr. Deeds (2002), Eight Crazy Nights (2002), The Hot Chick (2002), 50 First Dates (2004), The Longest Yard (2005), Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), Grandma’s Boy (2006), The Benchwarmers (2006), Click (2006), I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007), You Don’t Mess With The Zohan (2008), Bedtime Stories (2008) the original installment of Grown Ups (2010). Sandler also appears to have done an uncredited voice cameo in Schneider’s indie comedy Big Stan.
In a recent video interview with a Wisconsin newspaper before a stand-up appearance, Schneider sounded a little bit unsatisfied with the oddball cameo roles he has had in some of Sandler’s films over the years.
When prodded by the interviewer to address the issue, he jokes: “He makes us look like idiots in all the movies, and we do it… because we are idiots. But he also trusts us, and we trust him I guess. And maybe too much.”
Caleb Dixon is the managing editor of The Hollywood Spectator. He's covered the entertainment industry for more than 10 years, with a special focus on cable television and digital distribution.
His favorite film of all time is Top Gun.