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Alexander Payne Summons Bruce Dern And Will Forte To NEBRASKA!

Beaks here...

First, the bummer: Alexander Payne's efforts to lure Gene Hackman out of retirement have failed. The legendary actor (who recently shrugged off a minor case of getting hit by a car) will not star in Payne's NEBRASKA, the filmmaker's low-budget, black-and-white follow-up to THE DESCENDANTS.

But Bruce Dern very well might. And it's possible he'll be joined by Will Forte. That's the kind of Plan B I can get behind.

NEBRASKA is about an alcoholic grump who believes he's won a sweepstakes, and hits the road with his unsuccessful son to claim the prize. Normally, there'd be no way a studio like Paramount would spend a dime on a movie starring Dern and Forte, but after THE DESCENDANTS made $82 million domestic and won a shitload of awards, they might be inclined to take this very slight risk. I hope they do. It's been far too long since someone gave Dern a nice, meaty role. Sure, I dig his indelible supporting turns in AFTER DARK, MY SWEET; MONSTER and countless Joe Dante films over the years, but I'd really love to see someone give him space to create another Freeman Lowell. And the idea of pairing him with Will Forte - who's no slouch when it comes to portraying eccentrics - is just inspired. I need to see what happens when you put these two wild cards together.

This feels like it could be something very special. Roll the dice, Paramount. Do it for Dernsy.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 15, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST

    I like Will Forte. He was very funny in the Macguyver movie

    by ajit maholtra

  • May 15, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Dern is so underrated.

    by Stifler's Mom

    How he didn't win an Oscar for THE 'BURBS is beyond me.

  • May 15, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Yes to the Dern love.

    by Von_Trierstein

    This really does sound cool. Alexander Payne always brings good, relatable stuff to the table and it would be awesome to see him work with some more left-of-center actors (sorry, George Clooney). I'd love to see how he uses Will Forte! It's funny, whenever I read a description of his movies before they come out they always sound kind of trite and obvious (Two friends go on a wild, pre-marriage road trip... A man learns secrets about his wife after she goes into a coma, etc...), but then I see them and that simplicity of plot is a huge part of what makes them great, giving other things so much room to breathe. I look forward to many more movies from this guy.

  • May 15, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Bruce Dern rocks

    by Mark

    The Cowboys, Silent Running, Support your local Sheriff. He was awesome in all of them.

  • May 15, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Dern is greatness

    by IamZardoz

    Im probably one of the few that thought he should have kicked Jane Fonda's ass and sent Voight flying down the street on his gurney in Coming Home. I mean the dude gets sent to a shitty war and comes back to find out his wife has been screwing around and hes the bad guy?? He was soo good in Silent Running and even in small parts Ive thought he was great, he has this strange Chicago-ish accent that is pretty cool. Ill go see anything he is in that isnt schlock stuff.

  • PASS.

  • May 15, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Dern is indeed greatness. Loved his role in THE DRIVER

    by Tigger Tales

  • May 16, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    The King of Marvin Gardens

    by Adam13

    is one of my favourite films. Nicholson playing against type and Dern giving a great performance. Another reason to love 70's cinema.

  • May 16, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    I'll take it

    by Ben

  • May 16, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    bruce dern is always fantastic

    by Monnie Knapp

    And he would definitely be allowed to go all out under Payne's direction. I am a huge Hackman fan (of course) but this sounds great.

  • May 16, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Um, dont think I care for anything A. Payne does.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    Sideways was an overhpyed dredge.