Please let it be so! Gene Hackman may return to movies!


Gene Hackman, ya say!? Yes please!

Cinema’s original Lex Luthor, not to mention the only Popeye Doyle, has been absent from the bigscreen since 2004′s god-awful “Welcome to Mooseport”. Due to a combination of age and irritability (A Ray Romano comedy would do that), Hackman seemingly retired from the industry to concentrate on counting the greenbacks he’d made doing popcorn fodder like ”Enemy of the State” and ”Crimson Tide”… or something (or maybe just to sit and reflect on all the top shit he’d done over the years – “Poseidon Adventure”, “Superman”, “French Connection”, “The Conversation”, “Unforgiven”, “Narrow Margin”, “Get Shorty”, “The Firm”, “No Way Out” and it goes on and on..).

Now Gene’s back – well, he will be if Paramount gets their way.

The studio is demanding filmmaker Alexander Payne (“About Schmidt”) use Hackman, or someone just as notable, for his next film.

According to Vulture, Hackman’s one of several vets the filmmaker is being forced to consider for the lead role of ” a geriatric gin-hound of a dad who takes his estranged son with him from Montana to Publisher’s Clearing House headquarters — with a detour through Omaha, Nebraska — in order to claim his million-dollar sweepstakes prize” in Payne’s “Nebraska”.

Aside from Hackman, Paramount’s wishlist also includes Robert Duvall (“One Shot”), Robert Forster (“Mulholland Drive”), and “Schmidt” star Jack Nicholson.

In addition to securing a bigger name, the studio is also demanding Payne get the film’s budget down to a measly $10 million or so.

I’m all for Hackman in this role. It’s been too long. Anyone else?