Is Payne Downsizing?

An HE reader passed along some kind of official casting notice for a new Alexander Payne film called Downsizing. I’m going to assume that it has nothing overtly to do with cutting people from the payroll, but check out the topliners — Sacha Baron Cohen, Paul Giamatti, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon. It’ll be cool if this cast comes together, although a very-close-to-the-action source says it’s a little early to say.


(l. to r.) Paul Giamatti, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep,. Sacha Baron Cohen.

“Nothing is locked down at this juncture, not even script, certainly not cast,” the source says. “[Payne is] still working on screenplay, although he’s close.” When the script is done and gets sent around, I’d very much like to read it. Naturally.

Here’s how the info looked as it came to me in the e-mail:

“DOWNSIZING (AKA UNTITLED ALEXANDER PAYNE PROJECT) (BL,RG)

D:Alexander Payne, CD:John Jackson, T:Sacha Baron Cohen, Paul Giamatti, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon.”

The casting director is John Jackson, who served as casting director for Payne’s Sideways and worked in the casting department on three earlier Payne films — Citizen Ruth, Election and About Schmidt.

If Downsizing is Payne’s next film I’m not sure where this leaves Fork in the Road, a Dublin-based romantic drama based on Dennis Hamill‘s 2000 book of the same name. The adaptation is by Kerry Williamson. The IMDB has Payne listed as director-producer.

42 thoughts on “Is Payne Downsizing?

  1. I hope Alexander Payne starts making his next film sooner than later, whatever it turns out to be. Making us all wait so long for his post-Sideways feature is a little bit cruel. Poor Reese Witherspoon could possibly use this to crawl out of her post-Oscar slump.

  2. Witherspoon has films from Payne, James L Brooks and Cameron Crowe lined up – that’s some pretty great writer-directors, and a more interesting turn in her career than the lame romcoms she’s been doing (even if Brooks and Crowe have been misfiring recently, they’re still better than the Kate Hudsony stuff).

  3. Incidentally, I wish Hollywood-Elsewhere had forums so we could start threads on other subjects. I know it would be a hassle to have mods and so on but I just read in Empire magazine that Malick’s Tree of Life will be released in IMAX, and that it will feature long sequences with dinosaurs! (created by the Golden Compass/Incredible Hulk SFX guys) I thought it was a low key family drama. What the hell is he up to? Sorry for the off topic, but my mind is blown.

  4. Maybe they’ll be slow moving, ponderous dinosaurs being cut to shreds and eliminated by ROBOTS.

    Or ninjas.

  5. Obviously major talents all, but can you imagine any inverse where women that homely and men that stunning could even be countenanced for a moment?

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  7. Wow I love Reese Witherspoon, specially when I saw her movie called Legally Blonde. And definitely Meryl Streep is a very good actress, I remembered when she suffered Seasonal Allegies, for that reason she can’t act to months.

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