The first draft of the script was written in 2009. The Safdie Brothers always wanted a real-life Jew to portray the role, so they gave the screenplay to Adam Sandler, who declined. After that, they considered Harvey Keitel and Sacha Baron Cohen for the role of Howard before the brothers decided the part needed a younger actor like first intended. When the movie got financed after the success of Good Time (2017) in 2017, the role went to Jonah Hill, then back to Sandler in 2018.
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The film was inspired by the Safdie Brothers' father's time working for a man also named Howard in the Manhattan Diamond District. The Safdie Brothers and their father are also Jewish and avid basketball fans.
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Uncut Gems features the 4th most f-words in film history, exactly 408 times.
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The Safdie Brothers wanted to make this film since 2009 and prior to Good Time (2017), but couldn't get the project off the ground due to lack of financing. During that waiting period, Robert Pattinson contacted the brothers and said he wanted to work with them after he randomly discovered the poster of actress Arielle Holmes covered in pink neon light from their previous film Heaven Knows What (2014) on the internet. After they met with Pattinson, liking him and being inspired by his energy, the Safdies spontaneously started to write Good Time (2017) with him in mind. After the film's premiere in Cannes and the following critical success, the brothers found themselves getting calls from Hollywood executives with offers including a big-budget superhero movie, which they declined and instead secured financing for Uncut Gems.
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Yussi is played by real-life jeweler, Maksud Agadjani, who was embroiled in a public social media spat with rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine in 2018 over a $25,000 bracelet he said he lent the performer and was never paid for. The situation was covered by several hip hop media news outlets.
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Adam Sandler had false teeth for his role.
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The house used for the exterior of Howard Ratner's home is the same house used as Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek)'s home in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
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When Howard (Adam Sandler) stops by his apartment, his son says he has to use the bathroom. Howard tells the boy he has to use the bathroom of a neighbor because he doesn't know if his mistress is still in his apartment. When describing the neighbor, Howard says he played on "Good Times" & "Coming To America". When they knocked on the door of the neighbor, John Amos answered who was in fact the father on Good Times and played the father of Eddie Murphy's love interest in Coming to America.
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The movie's producers were at one time considering current or former NBA players Amar'e Stoudemire and Joel Embiid for the role ultimately played by former NBA player Kevin Garnett.
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The character Arno is an Armenian-American who married into Howard's Jewish family. He is named after Arno Babadzhanyan, the great Armenian-Soviet composer.
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Howard Ratner's jewelry store was a set entirely built for the movie.
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The opening and closing sequence, floating through the opal, was inspired by the work of photomicrographers, Danny J. Sánchez and Eduard Gübelin.
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Adam Sandler's first live action role in a theatrical film since Pixels (2015). All of his other live action film roles went straight to Netflix.
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Initial drafts of the script included a version of the character of Nick Nikas. This character would go on to be portrayed by Benny Safdie in the film Good Time (2017).
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The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival.
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Adam Sandler and Idina Menzel, who portray husband and wife, are jewish in real life.
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Received a C+ Cinemascore by first-weekend audiences.
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