Alexander Payne Wants Bruce Dern and Will Forte for Nebraska

Fans of director Alexander Payne had to wait seven years between Sideways and The Descendants, but with his next film currently shaping up, there shouldn’t be as much of a break between films. He’s decided to make Nebraska, a movie that he’s attempted to film for years now, but one that has been tricky to cast. The story centers on an old man who “gets a sweepstakes letter in the mail and thinks he’s struck it rich.” He takes a roadtrip with his underachieving son to collect his winnings. After working with A-listers like George Clooney and Jack Nicholson, Payne has settled on a different approach this time, picking Bruce Dern for the role of the father and Will Forte as the son. No official offers have been made yet, but if Payne has his way those two will star in the low budget comedy-drama.

The part of the father, which some have referred to as “one of the great roles for a seasoned actor” has been extremely difficult to cast. A few years ago Gene Hackman was approached for it, but he refused, preferring to stay retired. If this current casting pans out, I’ll certainly be interested in seeing what Payne can do with Dern and Forte. The movie would provide Dern a rare opportunity for a starring role again and Forte could show audiences a previously untapped dramatic side. What are your thoughts on Payne’s casting choices for his next film?

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  • Scott Harrigan

    This has the potential to be a really cool road trip movie. The silver screen has not really seen one of those in quite a while. The only close approximation I can think of is Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, but that is more of a stoner flick. One of my favorite comedy’s from when I was a kid is a road trip film.

    Admittedly it is a guilty pleasure now, but I can see this new film being a fun little experience.

  • Makes a lot of sense. I will never forget holding his Oscar. Go, Payne!!!

  • Matatiouz Moolia

    now that the movie is out it seems to me that its characters turned out confused and undefined. the mom is a hoot; the best part really. dern’s character was apparently this nice guy that did favors for everyone putting him in the hole financially, but we only learn this through the dialogue without any other dynamic backstory support. its a slow plodding movie that says more than it shows. i guess thats the point? its also black and white, i don’t know why. eh. when other critics mention it for the big award i cringe. the nuances here are not that compelling nor complex.