Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern are in negotiations to star in Wilson, Fox Searchlight’s adaptation of a Daniel Clowes graphic novel that will be directed by Craig Johnson, the helmer who directed The Skeleton Twins.
The movie is moving ahead for a June shoot in Minneapolis.
Alexander Payne is producing with his Ad Hominem Enterprises partners Jim Taylor and Jim Burke. Also producing are Sam Raimi and Josh Donen.
Clowes’ story told of a middle-aged misanthrope (Harrrelson) who seeks out his ex-wife (Dern), a scarred drug abuser, after the death of his father. When he learns of a teenaged daughter, born after his divorce, he tries to force them all to join him in his last gasping stab at a family.
Clowes, the acclaimed cartoonist who may be best known for his Ghost World comic that was later adapted into a movie, also wrote the script for Wilson.
Johnson seems ideally suited to the material, having already a track record for quirky relationship drama. He wrote and directed Skeleton Twins, which starred Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. He is repped by CAA and Mosaic.
Harrelson has been on a high since his performance in True Detective (he received an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination). The CAA-repped actor recently wrapped shooting Lionsgate’s Now You See Me: The Second Act and has police thriller Triple Nine awaiting release.
Dern, who received an Oscar nomination for her work opposite Reese Witherspoon in Jean-Marc Vallee’s Wild, this summer will shoot The Founder, the story of the rise of McDonald's, with Michael Keaton. She is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Gang, Tyre.