An official Fox Searchlight release says that principal photography on Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants begins today in Oahu and Kauai. George Clooney, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster (hooray, Bob!). Payne is directing a screenplay adapted by himself, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

But will it come out in late 2010? No word, no hint. I called Fox Searchlight’s Manhattan publicity office — zip. Joel and Ethan Coen‘s True Grit starts shooting this week (or imminently) also, and it’s locked to open on 12.25.10. If The Descendants shoots for 12 or 14 weeks it’ll be done in June, which gives Payne three or four months to cut it together. That’s doable. Clooney‘s The American, the Italy-based assassin movie from director Control‘s Anton Corbijn, will open sometime in the early to mid fall.