Perhaps the whole midwest Cedar Rapids experience (as a producer) and the completion of The Descendants which in some circles is being mentioned as a Cannes title (we don’t see it on the Croisette) got Alexander Payne homesick and ready for work. Last month, ThePlaylist broke the news that this long-gestating Nebraska which was set up at Focus Features back in 2003 was on the top of Payne’s wish list and now it appears that the first stone has been cast (via The Tracking Board) with the lead role going to funny-man Paul Rudd (My Idiot Brother). The trade mentions that Payne will direct from a script written by himself, Phil Johnston, Jim Taylor and Bob Nelson. Bona Fide Productions’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa will produce with Julie Thompson executive producing.
Gist: David Grant agrees to drive his aging alcoholic father from Montana to Nebraska to cash a sweepstakes winning lotto ticket, the whole time bonding after years of separation. The son goes reluctantly, suspecting his dad’s winning ticket is the same personalized form letter sent to millions.
Worth Noting: Among the scribes we have Phil Johnston – whose Black List script for Cedar Rapids landed him the job.
Do We Care?: Perhaps the experts in road-movie treatments, we affectionately think back to examples such as About Schmidt and Sideways and think the prospects for this project are very good indeed.