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Alexander Payne Says He Has An Actor In Mind For ‘Nebraska,’ But He Still Needs To Read The Script

Alexander Payne Says He Has An Actor In Mind For 'Nebraska,' But He Still Needs To Read The Script

It’s been known for a little while now that Alexander Payne will follow upThe Descendants” with a black-and-white road-trip film tentatively titled “Nebraska.” At one stage, it was reported that a number of veterans, including the retired Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, his “About Schmidt” star Jack Nicholson and ‘Descendants’ co-star Robert Forster were being eyed for the the lead of the film, an aging alcholic father. It now appears that Payne is zeroing in on a lead (though no word if its any of the aforementioned actors).

“I cannot announce it because I don’t even think the actor has received the script yet [but] it’s in the process right now,” the writer-director told ComingSoon. “It’s a father/son road trip from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska, but it gets waylaid at a crappy town in central Nebraska where the father grew up and where he has some old scores to settle. It’s just a little comedy. It’s nothing fancy. Nothing too ambitious. It’s a nice little comedy.”

The project — which has actually been brewing since 2004 but was put on the backburner due to Payne’s run of road-trip films at the time — was aiming for an April start date. “Nebraska” follows the story of an aloholic father who thinks he’s won the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes and takes a ride with his son to cash in the winnings. Could we be talking about another Payne film during award season this time next year? Two in two years, after a seven year absence (which he blames on ambitious political sci-fi pic “Downsizing“) between “Sideways” and ‘Descendants’? Yes, please.

Payne also added that he doesn’t “see a lot of contemporary American films. I also look forward to being educated about more actors out there and having an actor presented to me whom I never could have imagined.” Whether this is a reference to casting for this project remains to be seen, but it was noted once that Paramount is only giving him $10 million to play with, and greenlighting the film will be contingent upon getting a major star to sign on. If the April start date is still being eyed, we’ll surely hear more about this very soon.

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