'Sideways' director Alexander Payne's new Netflix movie axed just days before shoot

Alexander Payne poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Downsizing' showing as part of the BFI London Film Festival in London, Fridday, Oct. 13, 2017. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Alexander Payne (Credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Director Alexander Payne's planned new movie for Netflix has been axed just days before it was set to go into production.

The movie was set to star Mads Mikkelsen, and was based on the real-life story of Karl Ove Knausgård, a Norwegian journalist and novelist who takes his daughter with him on a road trip across the USA for a newspaper story.

Read more: Netflix says 64 million watched Stranger Things

But according to Deadline, it appears that Knausgård had second thoughts about having his life turned into a movie, and used an unexpected contractual 'out' to pull the film.

Attempts were reportedly made to bring the project back online, but ultimately failed.

The Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård, a literary phenomenon in Scandinavia, has received good reviews for the english translation of the first book of his six volume autobiography "My Struggle". The Norwegian title of the book is Min Kamp, the same as Hitler's Mein Kampf, and the six books total well over 3500 pages. (Photo by Orjan F. Ellingvag/Corbis via Getty Images)
Karl Ove Knausgård. (Credit: Orjan F. Ellingvag/Corbis via Getty Images)

Netflix was said to have won the movie after outbidding a number of other potential producers, and was set to release it in autumn 2020 as a possible awards contender.

Cameras were set to roll later this month in Sweden, Denmark and the US, working from a script by Norwegian novelist and screenwriter Erlend Loe.

Read more: Solid reviews for The Irishman

Payne is a double Oscar winner, having scooped the Best Adapted Screenplay gongs for Sideways and The Descendants, both also directed by him.

He also directed the acclaimed comedy-dramas Election, About Schmidt and Nebraska in 2013, which scored six Oscar nominations and won Bruce Dern the Best Actor award at Cannes.

His last movie was 2017's Downsizing, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig.