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.