Well, that seemed easy enough. After toying with the idea of Gene Hackman, Robert Forster, Jack Nicholson, Robert Duvall and Bryan Cranston for the lead of his upcoming film “Nebraska“– along with Casey Affleck and Paul Rudd for the supporting role in a father/son road trip tale — director Alexander Payne, finally settled on the unlikely pair of Bruce Dern and “MacGruber” star Will Forte. The only problem was convincing Paramount that the two actors were star-ready enough to carry his relatively thrifty, $13 million black and white film about an aging, booze-addled father who makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes prize.
Well, it’s been two and half months and the answer is apparently yes. The drama has been officially greenlit and will begin shooting in October. Written by Bob Nelson, and revised by the director, “Nebraska” has been siting in the Alexander Payne film queue since the early aughts. While comedian Forte’s dramatic chops are thus far untested, presumably Payne’s done his homework with screen tests and all that to impress the studio brass. Dern hasn’t had a major leading role in quite some time, but he’s known for performances in “The Great Gatsby,” “Silent Running,” “Coming Home,” “Family Plot,” and “The King Of Marvin Gardens,” where he took the louder leading role and his buddy Jack Nicholson took the introspective brother role just to keep them on their toes.
No release date as of yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this one enters the Oscar race in late 2013.