Director Alexander Payne hopes his latest film “The Descendants” will kick off a renaissance of adult dramas in America, he said Saturday.
“I hope that other filmmakers and financiers can point to (“The Descendants”), if it has any degree of success, as an example that there’s still a lucrative and hungry American market for such a film,” he said.
“I’m very grateful to Fox and Fox Searchlight for the opportunity to make such a film in this climate, at least in American cinema, where I’m told adult dramas for the most part are not being made.”
Payne cited “a number of reasons, economic and whatever” why big Hollywood studios are “defaulting toward the larger, tentpole or franchise films where larger dollars are at stake.”
He was speaking at the premiere of “The Descendants” at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The comic drama stars George Clooney in the role of Matt King, a middling lawyer, put-upon father and head of a storied Hawaiian family under pressure to sell the state’s last sprawling plot of virgin land.
Also starring Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer and Robert Forster, it was adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel of the same name.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.