Paramount Pictures has come aboard to co-produce and distribute Downsizing, the latest film from director Alexander Payne (The Descendants). Already locked onto the film are A-listers Matt Damon (currently starring in Ridley Scott’s The Martian) and Reese Witherspoon (who previously starred in Payne’s critically acclaimed 1999 satire Election). Downsizing comes from a script written by Payne and writing partner Jim Taylor (the duo previously wrote Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schimidt and Sideways together- winning an Oscar for the latter).
The film, a social satire, tells the story an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size and who moves to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world. Rumored the join the ensemble are Jason Sudeikis (Sleeping with Other People), Alec Baldwin (Aloha) and Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl). The film is expected to commence production sometime in the spring of 2016 with an expected theatrical release sometime towards the end of 2017- Paramount may be planning an awards run with the film, considering Payne’s popularity within the Academy.
Downsizing marks the third collaboration between Paramount and Payne. Paramount previously released Election (which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay) and Nebraska, a 2013 black-and-white comedy/drama that earned six Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture. Payne also received Oscars for co-writing the screenplays for the 2004 art house hit Sideways and the 2011 drama The Descendants.