Could Gene Hackman come out of retirement for Alexander Payne's next movie?
It's always sad when an actor retires and you know they've still got something left in the tank. It's especially sad when an actor retires and their last movie was WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT. Such is the case with Gene Hackman, the actor who retired after that horrendous 2004 Ray Romano comedy and has been content to do Lowe's commercials and going to Jacksonville Jaguars games ever since. Directors Clint Eastwood and Tony Scott have tried to convince Hackman to return to acting to no avail, but could Alexander Payne succeed where they have failed?
Payne is prepping his next film, NEBRASKA, at Paramount and as part of a larger debate with the studio about budget and the aesthetic of the film (Payne wants to shoot in black and white), the studio is insisting on an A-list name for the lead role. Both Payne and Paramount have one name at the top of their list: Gene Hackman.
Of course, they're also looking at Robert Duvall or Jack Nicholson in the unfortunately likely event that Hackman passes, but I've got to think that Hackman wants one last shot to go out on top. And with Payne, who could very well have directed George Clooney to another Oscar in THE DESCENDANTS, it could convince Hackman to return to Hollywood.
Admittedly, it's still very much a longshot, but the thought of Hackman returning is too good to turn a blind eye to. And once he's out of the way, we can figure out how to drag Sean Connery kicking and screaming back to movies.