October 18, 2019

Netflix Just Killed Alexander Payne's New Movie a Day Before Shooting

Alexander Payne's new Netflix movie has halted production one day before cameras were set to roll. Here's why.

Less than 24 hours before it was to shoot, Alexander Payne's new film at Netflix has halted production, Collider and Deadline reported Friday. The movie was set to star Mads Mikkelsen. It was a father-daughter road trip movie. Mikkelsen would play a Danish journalist who takes a road trip with his teenage daughter across the U.S. as he writes a story for a newspaper.

With so many terrible things going on in Hollywood, it would be safe to assume that some sort of sordid controversy stopped the movie from going forward. Thankfully, that was not the case. Deadline, in its usual snark, reports: 

“I’ve heard that the subject of the film, journalist Karl Ove Knausgard, was left with an "out" and had a change of heart about having his story turned into a feature. Attempts were made to pull the film back on track, to no avail. The rights to the movie fell apart and now Netflix has nothing. I can only assume Knausgard saw Downsizing and thought, “Noooooooooope.” (SIGH.)

That can be the trouble with biopics, however. If your lead does not want their story told, then you do not get to tell it. 

The movie was a promising follow-up for Payne, whose last film -- 2017's Downsizing -- was a costly critical and box office disappointment for both distributor Paramount and the Oscar-winning filmmaker. Payne has some stone-cold classics on his resume, including Election and About Schmidt. But losing out on the Nebraska filmmaker's latest film doesn't service anyone. Especially audiences. 

Here is hoping Netflix and Payne can find a way to make this project happen again down the line, or put an entirely new movie together.      

Your Comment

7 Comments

”The movie was a promising follow-up for Payne, whose last film -- 2017's Downsizing -- was a costly critical and box office disappointment for both distributor Paramount and the Oscar-winning filmmaker. (He won for co-writingThe Descendants and writing Sideways.) Payne has some stone-cold classics on his resume, including Election and About Schmidt -- he also has some meh movies. But losing out on the Nebraska filmmaker's latest film doesn't service anyone. Especially audiences.“

Slightly annoying for you saying “he also has some meh movies”.

Considering he has so few and 90% are great I think you honestly just misread Wikipedia and mistook his writing credits as films he’s directed.

Every filmmaker has some meh movies. Since you already explained Downsizing is bad, what other movies of his few are meh?

Election
Sideways
About Schmidt
The Descendants
Nebraska

Downsizing- yes

Citizen Ruth, a first feature that I’ve never seen but has good marks regardless.

So which are bad or did you look at his filmography as a director on Wikipedia and count Jurassic Park 3 and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry?

October 18, 2019 at 7:00PM

0
Reply

You should watch Citizen Ruth, it's great!

October 19, 2019 at 7:32PM

22
Reply
avatar
Charles Haine
Filmmaker, Tech Nerd

What a horrible text. "He also has some meh" movies? Really? Such a stupid comment. The quality of texts on this website has steadily declined over the last year or so. Used to be in my bookmarks, not anymore.

October 20, 2019 at 1:45PM

5
Reply
Vlastimir Stevanovic
Filmmaker
107

Lame move on Karl Ove’s part. All those cast and crew put in a lot of work in prep, only for him to get cold feet and pull the plug. How incredibly selfish.

October 20, 2019 at 3:25PM

0
Reply
BD
769

Good

October 21, 2019 at 9:41AM

0
Reply

“That can be the trouble with biopics, however. If your lead does not want their story told, then you do not get to tell it.”
... not sure this is true. Aren’t many (most?) interesting biopics told without the main subject’s involvement or consent? Granted, this is less of a public-figure scenario but this certainly cannot be the new rule. Let’s not strangle all life out of storytelling.

October 22, 2019 at 11:40AM

2
Reply

No mention of Sideways or The Descendants ? Those 2 alone should put him right up there with the greats.

October 24, 2019 at 7:00PM

4
Reply