It seems Alexander Payne will be trading the black-and-white melancholy of his latest feature film, Nebraska, for something far more colorful in his next project. According to Deadline, the acclaimed filmmaker is in talks to direct his next dramedy (as everything Payne touches turns to dramedy – About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska): The Judge’s Will.
Based off a short story written by author Ruth Prawer Jhabvala shortly before her death, The Judge’s Will finds a dying Delhi judge spending his final days locked in a battle of wits with his estranged wife, with the judge trying to ensure that his young mistress will be cared for after his death. The story seems to match up with all the elements normally found within Payne’s films. It’s got the same late-in-life struggles of About Schmidt, and presumably will match The Descendants’ colorful Hawaiian palette with a similar Indian color scheme.
But Payne’s got a lot on his plate before he can jet out to India for his next film (presuming that Payne signs on to direct, and that he actually shoots in India). Nebraska’s generating a great big mess of acclaim, so expect most of your Payne-centric news to focus on Nebraska for a little while longer. To pass the time, you can read Jhabvala’s “The Judge’s Will” in it’s entirety over here at The New Yorker.