The Holdovers team saddling up for western?

The Holdovers director Alexander Payne, star Paul Giamatti and screenwriter David Hemingson have a western in the works.

Last Updated on February 26, 2024

holdovers western

You might not have known it, but The Holdovers is actually the feature screenwriter debut of David Hemingson after a lengthy career in television. But now it seems like the bug has bitten — and that bug is named Alexander Payne. Hemingson recently revealed that he and The Holdovers director Payne are teaming up, this time for a western.

Speaking at a recent post-The Holdovers Q&A (via Deadline), Hemingson revealed some details about the project, saying, “Alexander and I are writing a Western together, so we’re going to co-write something, and it’s set in Nebraska in 1886, and it’s like no Western you have ever seen before, because it’s an Alexander Payne Western. So, all those interpersonal dynamics, all the stuff that he does, so brilliantly. He’s such a brilliant humanist. He’s going to suffuse this thing.”

Hemingson also teased other aspects that would make this The Holdovers reunion unique within the classic American genre. “It’ll be recognizable as within the genre, and it’ll have certain other tropes. But we intend to turn them on their head and really talk about the humanist perspective of 1886 Nebraska, which I’m thrilled about.”

As for who could lead this Hemingson/Payne endeavor, they’re looking at exactly who you would think: The Holdovers star Paul Giamatti, who the duo has written a part specifically for.

Giamatti and Hemingson are nominated in their respective categories at the Academy Awards. While the likely winner for Best Original Screenplay will probably be Anatomy of a Fall, it’s quite possible that Giamatti takes Lead Actor (I’m rooting for him just to see how much In-n-Out he scarfs down), at this point only competing against Oppenheimer’s Cillian Murphy. Payne did however receive a nomination from the Directors Guild of America (his third after The Descendents and Sideways).

This western project does sound promising, especially since it would reunite key players from one of the best movies of last year. The genre is circling a full-blown resurgence, with twists on them like The Power of the Dog and Killers of the Flower Moon earning widespread acclaim and shows like Yellowstone proving to be massive hits on the small screen. No doubt Payne and Hemingson could also bring something interesting to the western.

What do you think of this western pitch that could reunite The Holdovers’ star, director and writer? Let us know below!

Source: Deadline

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.