Nobody denies Shaquille O'Neal was a much better basketball player than actor, but that's not stopping the retired NBA star from landing a role alongside one of Hollywood's biggest names.
Shaq has just been added as a co-star for "Grown Ups 2" with Adam Sandler. The Boston Globe reports O'Neal will join Sandler in the sequel with other headliners such as Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Salma Hayek.
The original "Grown Ups" from 2010 is about a group of childhood friends who get together after years apart, and it has grossed more than $162 million at the domestic box office, according to Box Office Mojo. Needless to say, Sony Pictures is looking forward to the follow-up, which at least partially will be filmed in Massachusetts this summer with a scheduled 2013 release date.
Dennis Dugan has signed on to direct, reports IMDB.com. Fred Wolf put together the screenplay. Shaq played himself in last year's Dugan and Sandler project "Jack and Jill."
During a career that started in 1992 with the Orlando Magic, Shaq won four NBA championships and played in 12 All-Star games.
Hollywood critics didn't think much of O'Neal's early acting appearances in such iconic films as Kazaam (1996) and Steel (1997).
In any case, big names sell tickets and few have as much celebrity as Shaq.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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