Alexander Payne is at that point in his career that he can make pretty much whatever he wants, with whoever he wants - just as long as he keeps to a certain sized budget.
Payne, who was just nominated for another Oscar for his fine work with George Clooney starrer The Descendants, is looking to make the road trip film, Nebraska say Deadline.com. The writer/director wants former Saturday Night Live star Will Forte and Bruce Dern to take the lead roles in the production about a "crotchety dad, an alcoholic on the downside of his life, who gets a sweepstakes letter in the mail and thinks he’s struck it rich. He gets in a car to head down to claim his fortune, accompanied by his underachieving son." Apparently Payne really wanted legendary actor Gene Hackman for the role of the father, but he wouldn’t come out of retirement.
Like Forte a lot, and this could be a huge role for him. The budget is estimated at a manageable $12 million, hence the lack of star names.