Alexander Payne in Talks to Direct Fox Searchlight's 'The Judge's Will'
by Ethan Anderton
October 8, 2013
Right now Alexander Payne's new film Nebraska is making the festival rounds, but Paramount Vantage will send the black and white comedic drama to theaters in November. However, the director will next reunite with The Descendants distributor Fox Searchlight for a new project called The Judge's Will. Deadline reports Payne is currently in talks to direct the film from Conde Nast Entertainment, based on a piece from The New Yorker that was actually the last published work of writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who also worked on some films like Le Divorce and A Room with a View with Ismael Merchant and James Ivory.
Now Payne will direct (and produce through his Ad Hominem Enterprises) the story which follows the last days in a "chess game relationship" between an ailing Delhi judge and his beautiful younger Bombay wife. Each of them live their own lives independently despite living under the same roof, but as the judge is on his deathbed, he aims to make sure that his beautiful, uneducated mistress will be cared for and not become an outcast. It's certainly a unique story, and it sounds unlike anything has Payne has done before, which is the case with any of his films for the most part. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Alexander Payne told ComingSoon "'The Judge's Will' is a beautiful story I optioned a few months ago. Why it came to light this week that I optioned it, I have no idea. Somebody showed me an article, 'Oh, Payne in talks.' No, I’m not! I have no idea what I'm going to do next. That’s all wrong. The curtain of truth is that I optioned that story, but I don't know when I'm gonna do it." So don't expect it anytime soon.