The Descendents director Alexander Payne is putting together the pieces for his next film Nebraska. This is a movie that Payne has been wanting to make for years, and after a long search he has decided to cast Bruce Dern (Big Love) and Will Forte (SNL) in the film.
Payne is looking to make this his next project with Paramount Pictures. It has a budget of 13 million dollars and will be shot in black and white. According to Deadline, "Dern would play a crotchety dad, an alcoholic on the downside of his life, who gets a sweepstakes letter in the mail and thinks he’s struck it rich. He gets in a car to head down to claim his fortune, accompanied by his underachieving son, who’d be played by Forte."
Payne originally wanted to cast Gene Hackman in the role of the father, but Hackman wasn't interested in coming out of retirement. Apparently this is being called one of the great roles for a seasoned actor, and a lot of actors wanted to take it on. I think it's great that it landed with Dern, he's always been an incredible actor and knowing the work Payne does, this could be one of the best roles of his career. I've always felt he was an underrated and underused actor, so it's awesome to see Payne recognize the talent and put it to good use.
I think Dern and Forte are going to end up being a great on screen duo.