Alexander Payne is looking to 'Downsize'

It’s been five years since Sideways, but now it looks like writer-director Alexander Payne is putting the finishing touches on next screenplay, a social satire about miniature people entitled Downsizing. Already, he’s put together a pretty impressive cast.

Paul Giamatti (who Payne worked with previously on Sideways), Sacha Baron Cohen and Reese Witherspoon (also working with Payne on Election) have all committed to star in the film, which would likely land at Fox Searchlight, where Payne has a first-look deal.

Giamatti’s character is as a man low on money who decides he can have a much nicer life if he undergoes a process to shrink himself.

Witherspoon would play a woman Giamatti meets on his journey as a miniature person. Baron Cohen would play a pint-sized foreigner.

Deals and negotiations will not take place until Payne and his collaborator Jim Taylor finish the screenplay. Jim Burke is producing alongside Payne.

Unlike previous Payne pics, Downsizing would require considerable special effects and could push the budget out of Searchlight’s realm.

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