Fox Brings The Payne To 'Wilson'

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Many years after teaching us to hate Merlot with 2004's brilliant dark comedy "Sideways," Alexander Payne is FINALLY getting his directing mojo back in a big way.

Payne's next film, the George Clooney-starrer "The Descendants," is currently being edited for a release next year, after which he'll most likely tackle the body-miniaturization satire "Downsizing," but then a third film in a row? You betcha.

Deadline reports the Greek director could tackle geek icon Daniel Clowes' acclaimed graphic novel "Wilson" about a misanthropic middle-aged divorced dude attempting to reconnect to the human race by reuniting with his ex-wife and their daughter, who was put up for adoption. Between "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Louie," the "abrasive older man whose marriage has collapsed" sub-genre is at its peak on television, so why not bring the boiling frustration to the big screen?

Payne is no stranger to the world of sad sack curmudgeon-loners, as evidenced by Paul Giamatti's wine snob in "Sideways" or Jack Nicholson's put-upon retiree in "About Schmidt." Clowes, who is writing the screenplay, has previously adapted his alternative comics into the teen-alienation masterpiece "Ghost World," which turned Steve Buscemi into an object of teen lust. Yeah.

Fox Searchlight is developing the property for Payne, who has yet to officially sign on, but a better marriage of demented sensibilities than he and Clowes is impossible to fathom. As for who can play the title role, you could really go anywhere with it, but we think it's about time Nicolas Cage showed the world how angry and bald he really is (hint hint, Alexander Payne).

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