It was seven years between Alexander Payne‘s films Sideways and The Descendants, but the director has a couple new projects in the works. He probably won’t have to wait nearly as long before getting another film off the ground. We know, for one, that he’s working on Wilson, an adaptation of Daniel Clowes‘ comic story.

Before Wilson gets going, however, Payne will likely make a film called Nebraska, about a father and son on a roadtrip to collect contest winnings the father believes to be waiting for him. The development of the movie has taken some time, in part because there was some back and forth with the studio over budget, casting, and shooting the movie in black and white.

The film is still being cast, and since the big deals aren’t done Payne won’t reveal who he has in mind for the role. (Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Jack Nicholson, and Robert Forster have all been rumored, with Forster being the most persistent name so far.) But it isn’t even anything specific to Nebraska that is the most interesting thing today — it is how Payne describes his general approach to finding a story. Read More »

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Last year, as Alexander Payne was getting going on The Descendants, we got word that he was also planning an adaptation of the graphic novel Wilson, by Ghost World and Art School Confidential creator Daniel Clowes. We haven’t heard much about that project in a bit, but now Clowes says that the film is still in the works, and will be Payne’s next film after the black and white father/son roadtrip movie Nebraska. While I wouldn’t take the “next movie after Nebraska” idea as gospel, it is good to know the project isn’t dead. Sadly, some other Clowes film projects are dead; we’ll run down all the current status reports after the break. Read More »

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 »

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