If you woke up this morning hoping to see George Clooney run around Hawaii like an idiot, well, you’re in luck. The first clip of Clooney in Alexander Payne‘s long overdue follow-up to the 2004 Oscar winner Sideways, The Descendants, has just come online, teasing a website about the film called Who Is He? Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings and scheduled for release December 16, The Descendants is about an attorney forced to reexamine his life and make some very difficult decisions when his wife gets into a terrible accident. Besides Clooney, the film stars Judy Greer, Matthew Lilliard, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Shailene Woodley and more. Watch the clip after the jump. Read More »

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After a few years of relative inactivity (public inactivity, at least) director Alexander Payne is really getting back to work. He’s wrapped a feature adaptation of The Descendants, which we could see late this fall during the Sept festival circuit, and now has revived a script that he started considering back in 2004 when Sideways was a hot indie commodity.

Nebraska is a script by Robert Nelson that depicts a father/son roadtrip. (So, no, it isn’t an adaptation of the Bruce Springsteen album, which would perhaps also be great subject matter for Mr. Payne.) And after taking a few years off of roadtrip movies, it looks like the director is ready to get back in the car. Read More »

Sublimely talented writer/cartoonist Daniel Clowes first saw his work on screens in 2001 with Ghost World, and then again in the rather disappointing Art School Confidential. We’ve been waiting for his animated film with Michel Gondry and son to appear, but in the meantime his latest graphic novel, Wilson, may be raw material for an Alexander Payne film. Read More »

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Carter Beats the Devil is one of those novels that made a big splash, was quickly optioned and then dropped right into development hell. But now it is getting a second chance at Warner Bros., with Michael Gilio set to script. (He wrote the draft of Treasure Island for WB that Paul Greengrass is reportedly directing.) In addition, Gilio has written a script for director Alexander Payne. But is that for Payne to produce, or direct? Read More »

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Variety isn’t the only organization that can bury info in reports. Hawaii does it, too! Down at the end of the long press release trumpeting Hawaii as the filming location for Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is a minor nugget about Alexander Payne. The director is currently in pre-production on The Descendants, which will indeed star George Clooney as recently rumored. Read More »

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I’m currently feeling a bit overloaded on George Clooney, what with his upcoming roles in The Men Who Stare at Goats, Up in the Air, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. After not seeing him on the big screen since Burn After Reading, it now feels like we’re facing an onslaught on Clooney projects. Now, we may be able to add yet another one to the mix. Clooney is apparently eying the lead in Alexander Payne’s upcoming Hawaii-based family dramedy, The Descendants, which is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

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His exec-produced show Hung is doing well on HBO, but it’s been five years since Alexander Payne had a feature in theatres. (It really doesn’t seem that long since Sideways.) He was going to return with an adaptation of the novel Downsizing, an ambitious project in which a man purposely shrinks himself to be like a little person in order to have an easier life. Crazy tale, but there was a great cast attached: Paul Giamatti, Reese Witherspoon and Sacha Baron Cohen. But the movie would also have been crazy expensive, and it looks like that has killed it for now. Production Weekly said over Twitter today that Payne is now slated to go into production on another feature early next year. This one is an adaptation of the novel The Descendants. More on the project after the jump. Read More »

Ed Helms to Star in Cedar Rapids

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Most of the big casting news post-Hangover has focused on Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis. Maybe that’s because their co-star Ed Helms was already quite well established thanks to The Daily Show and The Office. But he’ll be on hiatus from shooting The Office in October, and according to Variety he’ll fill the time by starring in Cedar Rapids, a film for which Alexander Payne will be producer while Miguel Arteta (Youth in Revolt) directs. Read More »

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