EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has made a deal to finance and release the next film by director Alexander Payne. Sources said the film doesn’t yet have a title, but that it is going to star Mads Mikkelsen, who is finalizing his deal. It was described to me as a father/daughter story about a Danish journalist who takes a road-trip with his teenage daughter across the U.S. as he writes a story for a newspaper.
The film will begin shooting next month in Sweden, Denmark and the U.S. Several distributors bid for Payne’s film. Script was written by Erlend Loe (Nord). It will be produced by Bona Fide Productions’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, and Lizette Jonjic of Zentropa Productions.
The deal gives Netflix a solid awards season film for next year, following a bumper crop of awards films upcoming this fall. Plan is for the film to be released in fall, 2020. Payne has won two Oscars, for writing The Descendants and Sideways (both of which he directed), and he has been a critical favorite since launching his career on Citizen Ruth followed by the Oscar-nominated Election, which has established itself as something of a cult classic. His other films include Downsizing, About Schmidt and Nebraska.
Payne has other projects percolating that include The Menu, a dark satirical comedy he was putting together earlier this year to direct, with Emma Stone and Ralph Fiennes circling to star in a Will Tracy & Seth Reiss-scripted satire that focuses on an eccentric culinary event that is planned for an exclusive island and becomes the hot ticket to die for. I’ve heard it referred to as a Tarantino-esque take on The One-Percent. That was shopped back in April. But the Netflix film will be his next.
Payne is repped by CAA and Bloom Hergott’s John Diemer; Mikkelsen is repped by UTA and Denmark-based Art Management.