Alexander Payne doesn’t have a horse in this year’s Oscar race, but look for him to get back in the game next year. Producer Albert Berger revealed that Payne’s Nebraska is eyeing a November or December 2013 release date, because “You know his films do well at the Academy Awards.”

We won’t have to wait quite that long for a peek at the new film, however. The first photos from the set have just hit the web, showing the father-son duo played by Bruce Dern and Will Forte as they stroll around snowy Billings, Montana. Hit the jump to continue.

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Alexander Payne‘s never been one to just hire the biggest star he could get. Even George Clooney in The Descendants seemed like he’d been selected because he was the right fit for the role, not (just) because Payne was dazzled by Clooney’s A-list wattage, and Clooney was surrounded by an eclectic mix of comedians, newcomers, and TV stars.

For his next project Nebraska, Payne is taking a similarly interesting approach. Bruce Dern and Will Forte were confirmed as the leads a couple of months ago, and since then Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach have been added to the supporting cast as well. And now, for the villain of the piece, Payne has chosen Devin Ratray, best known as Buzz McCallister from the first two Home Alone films. Read more after the jump.

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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was a great surprise, a fun and very well-animated film that stands as one of the better kids’ films released in the last few years. (And therefore is also a good watch for adults.) While Cloudy directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are only producing the sequel Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, they’ve handed off directorial duties to Cody Cameron (story artist on Cloudy) and Kris Pearn (head of story on the first film), who are working from a script by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein and Erica Rivinoja.

The directorial change isn’t the only big one happening, however, as Mr. T, who voiced the intense, enthusiastic town cop Earl, will not be heard this time. The character does return, however, voiced by Terry Crews. We’ve got some more cast info and a lot of story details below. Read More »

Paramount has finally given the go-ahead to Alexander Payne to shoot Nebraska, the father/son road trip movie he has been working to cast and get into production since the release of The Descendants. While his last film was a relatively audience-friendly affair — for Payne at least — that had obvious appeal thanks to the presence of George Clooney, Nebraska is a slightly tougher sell, at least to the people who make financial decisions at studios.

Payne plans to shoot the script (by Bob Nelson and Phil Johnston) in black and white, with Bruce Dern and Will Forte now confirmed to appear as an aging alcoholic and his son, who are derailed while on what seems at first like a simple cross-country drive. Read More »

Is it still possible to surprise an actor about the popularity of one of their films? It seems unlikely, when anyone can set up a Google alert to be notified when conversation is happening about any topic, but maybe Will Forte has better things to do than sit around reading what people say about MacGruber.

The 2010 SNL to bigscreen film was a financial disappointment, but MacGruber has a loyal fanbase, whether Forte knows it or not. That fanbase wouldn’t mind a sequel, and when asked about the chances for another film, Forte told AICN over the weekend, “we’re proud of it, and we jokingly talk about the sequel all the time. But I don’t think anybody in their right mind would give us any money for it.”

Given a chance to follow up on that statement, Forte says that he didn’t expect to be asked about MacGruber at all, and that the comment above was partially uttered out of surprise. And while a sequel isn’t necessarily happening, he plans to write one regardless. Read More »

When MacGruber, the big-screen expansion of a few small MacGyver-parodying skits from SNL, was released in 2010, the film was considered a bomb. In short order, however, the film developed a passionate following, and the cult of MacGruber continues to grow from month to month.

Still, given how long it took to get the stars to align for a sequel to Anchorman — a much more popular film — it seems unlikely that we’ll ever see another MacGruber, no matter what director Jorma Taccone and star Will Forte might like, And yet they’re talking about it anyway. Taccone says the pair are planning a sequel, and tells ScreenCrush “It would be me, Will and John [Solomon] writing it again. Every time I hang out with Will, we talk about all our cool ideas for the sequel. We have the idea for it and we have a title, but I won’t tell you what it is.” As far as plot goes, Taccone would only reveal that there’s an inspiration from Die Hard, in that the film would take place at Christmas.

After the break Dante Basco, who played the Lost Boy Rufio in Steven Spielberg‘s Hook, says he’s part of the team developing a prequel explaining Rufio’s story. Read More »

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Although there was a seven-year gap between Sideways and last year’s The Descendants, Alexander Payne seems eager to get going on his next project sooner rather than later. The filmmaker has begun casting for Nebraska, the black and white father-son road trip comedy he has set up at Paramount, and he now has top picks in mind for the two leads.

While names like Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Jack Nicholson, and Robert Forster have been rumored for the older role, and Casey Affleck and Paul Rudd have been floated for the younger, a new report indicates that Payne has ultimately settled on Bruce Dern and Will Forte for the central roles. More details after the jump.

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Amongst bloggers, Sundance interviews can be a controversial topic. On one hand, you’re given unprecedented access to the stars and filmmakers behind what are potentially some of the biggest films of the year. Doing so, however, means seeing fewer movies, because huge chunks of time must be devoted to traveling to and from interview locations, which are often remote and incredibly loud.

Generally, we here at /Film let the movies do the talking when it comes to Sundance. But as a huge fan of the comedy duo known as Tim and Eric, I knew I’d probably never, ever get the chance to speak to them one on one ever again. So I did. And I filmed it.

After the jump, watch a ten minute video interview with not only Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim but their friend Will Forte too. We discuss Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, which hits video on demand January 27 and theaters on March 2 (watch the review here), as well as their sense of humor, process, the likelihood they’ll return to television and more. Read More »

Olivia Wilde has landed the coveted role of ’70s supermodel Suzy Miller in Rush, Ron Howard‘s Peter Morgan-scripted drama about the real-life rivalry between British Formula One driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian racer Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Miller married the womanizing Hunt, but then fell in love with Hunt’s friend Richard Burton. Burton agreed to pay the $1 million divorce settlement that Hunt owned Miller, and then married Miller.

Howard is reportedly eyeing Russell Crowe to play the supporting role of Burton, but it doesn’t sound like negotiations are too far along at this time. Rush began preliminary shooting last month, but real principal photography is starting soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Billy Crudup gets to show off his comedic chops while Helen Hunt, Maggie Grace, and Aaron Paul get to fight breast cancer.

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