‘Uncut Gems’ Directors Josh and Benny Safdie Almost Cast Kobe Bryant Before Landing on Kevin Garnett

Josh and Benny Safdie’s merciless assault on the senses, “Uncut Gems,” is now in theaters from A24, with the film’s star Adam Sandler turning out a startling performance that both showcases his singular gifts while revealing new ones.

Not since “Punch-Drunk Love” has the comic actor delivered such an unhinged, yet emotionally nuanced turn.He stars as the eccentric, abrasive Howard Ratner, a NYC jewelery dealer who is splitting up with his fed-up wife (Idina Menzel) and has all but alienated his children.

One of the film’s subplots revolves around a rare gem that Howard has imported to his shop, which he ends up lending to real-life basketball player Kevin Garnett.

However, according to a new interview with Vulture, the Safdies originally designed the film around Kobe Bryant, and also considered NBA players Amar’e Stoudemire and Joel Embiid.“It started with Amar’e Stoudemire, who was a

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