Paul Thomas Anderson generally takes his time between films, and while fans usually have to wait a few years or so between new PTA releases, it sounds like we won’t have to wait that long for his next project — which reunites him with Punch-Drunk Love star Adam Sandler. That’s not a particularly unusual pairing. What is unusual, however, is that while Anderson’s latest effort isn’t technically an actual film, it was made for Netflix.

UPDATE: Sources close to production tell us that Anderson merely “filmed a portion of Adam’s stand-up set in Los Angeles on April 10.” According to our sources, Steven Brill is the actual director of the special, which does not yet have a release date. Brill has directed a few films for Sandler, including Mr. Deeds and The Do-Over. Original story continues below…

An eagle-eyed fan spotted Anderson back behind the camera just last night at the El Rey theater in Los Angeles, where he was filming Adam Sandler’s new comedy special for Netflix.

And here’s Sandler’s tweet to promote the event — no mention of PTA, however:

The special is presumably part of Sandler’s ongoing deal with the streaming giant, which has thus far yielded less-than-stellar results, including terrible comedies like The Ridiculous Six and The Do-Over. But Sandler may be heading into another career upswing; following his recent role in Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (also for Netflix), Sandler signed on to star in Uncut Gems, the new film from Josh and Benny Safdie, the acclaimed duo behind last year’s Good Time.

Sandler enlisting Paul Thomas Anderson to direct his comedy special is another promising development. Anderson helped deliver what has come to be regarded as the best period in Sandler’s career — which included roles in Punch-Drunk Love and Funny People. Between Uncut Gems and this new comedy special, Sandler may very well be defying those who believe that the actor and comedian is no longer invested in his work.

In any case, I’m thrilled for Sandler to make good projects again. Even if this comedy special isn’t great, at least we know he’s putting in some legitimate effort.

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