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The first draft of the script was written in 2009. The Safdie Brothers always wanted a Jewish actor to portray Howard, so they gave the screenplay to Adam Sandler, who initially declined. They then considered Harvey Keitel and Sacha Baron Cohen for the role before the brothers decided the part should indeed be played by a younger actor. When the movie got financed after the success of Good Time (2017) in 2017, the role went to Jonah Hill before going back to Sandler in 2018 after he saw Good Time.
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Uncut Gems features the 4th most f-words in film history, more specifically, 408 times.
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The film was inspired by the Safdie Brothers' father's time working as a salesman/runner 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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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 via e-mail and said he was interested 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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Tilda Swinton makes a cameo in the film as the voice of the auction manager on the phone.
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Howard tells his son that his neighbour acted in "Good Times" and "Coming To America. " When they knock on the door of the neighbor, it is answered by John Amos, who was indeed the father on Good Times and the father of Eddie Murphy's love interest in Coming to America.
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The house used for the exterior of Howard Ratner's home is the same house used as Freddy Mercury's home in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
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Yussi is played by a real-life jeweler, Maksud Agadjani, who was embroiled in a 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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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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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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Initial drafts of the script included a version of the character Nick Nikas. This character would go on to be portrayed by Benny Safdie in the film Good Time (2017).
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Howard Ratner's jewelry store was a set built entirely for the movie.
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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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The story is set in 2012.
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Adam Sandler was thrilled when Daniel Day-Lewis rang him up to tell him how much he loved his performance.
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The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival.
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Apart from the false teeth, Adam Sandler also wears a fake dark mole (on his right cheek) for this role.
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It was Julia Fox's idea for her character to have Howard's name tattooed on her ass.
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One of indie production company A24's biggest grossing films.
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This is socialite Julia Fox's first film role. She was approached by the Safdie brothers based on her high profile New York City social life.
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When initially offered the lead role in 2014, Adam Sandler turned it down.
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Adam Sandler's wife convinced him to take on the role after reading the screenplay.
The basketball series shown in the film was the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Semi Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston won that series and moved on to the next round. There they lost to the eventual champions, the Miami Heat.
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