Alexander Payne to Direct NEBRASKA

     January 18, 2011


Sideways director Alexander Payne Payne recently finished up with The Descendants starring George Clooney and is now turning his attention to the drama Nebraska.  According to The Playlist, the story centers on,

“an aging alcoholic father who thinks he’s won a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes prize. He is unbowed when his family tries to dissaude him from making the long trip from Montana to Nebraska to cash in his winnings. So his estranged 20-something son—who doesn’t believe the ticket is a winner—is forced to go along with him for the ride to keep him out of trouble, providing an opportunity to bond with his father after years of separation.”

Hit the jump for more details NebraskaThe Descendants is due to be released later this year.

Payne has reportedly had Nebraska on his to-do list for six years now, but didn’t want to follow up About Schmidt and Sideways with yet another road movie.  However, he is now returning to the script, originally written by Robert Nelson, with the help of Cedar Rapids screenwriter Phil Johnston.  Producer Ron Yerxa tells The Playlist that Payne wants to start shooting Nebraska in the late summer or early fall before The Descendants hits theaters.

As for who might end up starring in Nebraska, The Playlist reports that very early names being considered for the father and son are Robert Forster and Casey Affleck, respectively.  However, no deals are in place and Payne wants to make sure he has the script right before he offers it to any actor.  “Casting is still wide open,” Yerxa said. “Alexander can’t cast an actor until he’s read for the part and he knows he’s exactly right for it.”

I’m a fan of Payne’s work and I think he showed some serious maturity with Sideways.  It’s been too long since we’ve seen a film from him and I’m glad that there probably won’t be another seven-year-drought between his films.


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