In the seven years since Sideways peaked at the wrong time and barely missed out on Best Picture, the world has gone and forgotten about Alexander Payne. He’s rarely mentioned in best filmmaker conversations and the buzz about his upcoming Descendants has been almost nil. To be fair, no one has really seen any footage of the film, and thus, there’s little to be excited about, but since it’s his first new offering since 2004, you would think at least a few people would be talking. Regardless, his follow-up to the unreleased picture is taking shape, and this time around, the wait won’t be nearly as long.

According to The Playlist, the new film is entitled Nebraska, and it follows an old alcoholic who leaves his Montana home for the title state after he received a letter telling him he’s won a million dollars. His family is convinced it’s a forgery and sends along his son to make sure he stays out of trouble. Apparently, Payne is looking at Casey Affleck to play the son and Robert Forster to play the alcoholic, but neither are anywhere close to being finalized.

If all goes according to plan, Nebraska should start shooting later this year, hopefully wrapping in time for Alexander Payne to do press on The Descendents. Early word is that film should premiere in time for awards season, but no date has been set. The director’s last three films have been Sideways, About Schmidt and Election. If Nebraska is as good as any of them, audiences will be in for something special.

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