It seems hard to believe, but in this weekend's "The Longest Yard," (search) a remake of the 1974 movie about a famous quarterback who goes to prison for drunk driving and leads the inmates in a football game against the prison guards, Sandler steps into the role that Reynolds famously inhabited 31 years ago.
Sandler told FOX News' Brian Kilmeade that he was honored by the opportunity to work with Reynolds.
"[Burt] is a legend and he is a giant part of my life," he told Kilmeade. 'The Longest Yard' was one of my favorite movies ever. I wanted to be Burt. I didn't like who I was. I wanted to be that guy."
With Father's Day coming up, Kilmeade asked Reynolds — who plays the prison team's coach — and Sandler about the various roles their dads played in their lives.
"When I got hurt when I was playing ball, [my dad] said 'So what? Get out there and play.' It was hard. I didn't get a hug until he was 80-something, which is probably why when people see me coming they go, 'Oh damn, he's going to hug me,'" Reynolds told FOX News.
Sandler said his dad was also from the old school.
"My father was very tough also. Expected a lot out of me. Worked with me school-wise.
Sports-wise he was a coach of every team I played — baseball, basketball. Football he would just show up and watch me. He would be like, 'This ain't for you, moron.'"
"The Waterboy" star added that he regrets that his father, a huge Reynolds fans, didn't live to see this film.
"I can't believe he's not here to see this. This movie me and him watched 50 times. My father loved Burt, he thought he was hilarious. When Burt was on "Carson," my father would wake me up and say 'Get in here, Burt Reynolds is on "Carson."' We would laugh our asses off. This is huge for me and my family."
The movie is also a comeback of sorts for Reynolds who, at 69, has eight movies coming out this year, including "The Dukes of Hazzard."
But Reynolds and Sandler aren't the only stars in "The Longest Yard." Chris Rock — who also does the voice of a zebra in this weekend's "Madagascar," plays a prison inmate.
"Hopefully, everyone will see 'Madagascar' in the morning or in the afternoon, and at night, they'll go and see 'The Longest Yard,'" Rock joked at a press conference.
Rapper Nelly — who told the Associated Press he spent a few days here and there in prison growing up — makes his movie debut in "The Longest Yard," playing the running back for the prison football squad.
Asked who was a better quarterback, Sandler or Reynolds, Nelly reluctantly said Sandler.
"Adam was probably was the better quarterback, but Burt looked cooler doing it. Burt was slick back in the day. Adam is a comedian. Burt was always a ladies' man," Nelly said.
But Sandler earned Nelly's respect in a different way.
"I consider him a real good friend now. Not a Hollywood friend, a real friend. You know, you got those guys who you call and check up on and see if there's ever anything you can do to help. He's one of those friends. He already made a cameo in my new video. I had him driving the old Lincoln Continental with some rims."
The Associated Press and the New York Post contributed to this report.