Adam Sandler Remembers James Caan: ‘Always Wanted To Be Like Him’

by Blake Ells

Adam Sandler joined a chorus of stars remembering the life of James Caan. Caan died on July 6. He was 82 years old.

Many of his peers and friends have shared tributes to the late actor via social media in the days since his death. Adam Sandler joined in the remembrance.

“James Caan. Loved him very much. Always wanted to be like him. So happy I got to know him. Never ever stopped laughing when I was around that man. His movies were best of the best. We all will miss him terribly. Thinking of his family and sending my love,” Sandler tweeted.

Sandler has long admired James Caan. During his acceptance speech for Best Male Lead at the National Board of Review Awards in 2020, he talked about his hero.

“I used to walk around the Village and bounce around like I was a [expletive] tough guy and pretend I was the next James Caan. I swear to God, I thought I was going to be the next James Caan. My grandmother used to say, ‘You’re going to be the next James Caan,” Sandler said at the ceremony.

Sandler starred alongside James Caan in the 1996 film Bulletproof. The movie also starred Damon Wayans. In the film, Wayans is an undercover police officer who befriends a drug dealer, Sandler, in an effort to bring down a drug lord portrayed by Caan.

James Caan Was Almost in ‘Uncut Gems’

After Caan’s death, the Safdie Brothers revealed that James Caan nearly took on the role of Howard Ratner, Adam Sandler’s character from Uncut Gems.

“After sandler rejected us our first instinct was to cast James Caan as Howard. Obvs it was always sandman’s part, but in the air somewhere is a version with jimmy caan… as seen here in 2011… RIP,” directors Josh and Bennie Safdie shared on Twitter.

Stars Remember Caan

Caan will always be remembered for The Godfather, but he had a number of other huge roles in his career. He was in Brian’s Song, Misery, Elf, El Dorado, The Gambler, Funny Lady and the long-running television series Las Vegas.

His Godfather co-stars, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, were among the many that paid respects to Caan this week. As was director Francis Ford Coppola. A new generation also remembered the late star, including Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller.

James Caan finished filming one more movie before his death. Fast Charlie is expected to hit screens in 2023. In the film, Caan portrays an aging mob boss named Stan. Pierce Brosnan is Charlie Swift, a hitman that works for Stan. The film is directed by Phillip Noyce and it’s based on a Victor Gischler novel called Gun Monkeys.