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After years of waiting, writer/director Alexander Payne is finally getting ready to make his bizarre social satire film Downsizing, and he has gotten one of the greatest leading men around to go on the filmmaking adventure with him.
Sources have told Deadline that Matt Damon is now attached to the film, which Payne has been working on for more than five years. While not much is known about the story of the film yet - which is based on a script co-written by Payne and Jim Taylor - the feature reportedly follows a down-on-his-luck guy who comes to the realization that his life would be a lot better if he were to shrink himself. At this point it's unclear how extreme the shrinking process will be: is he going to be the height of a small child, or are we talking microscopic? Regardless, this is Alexander Payne's first real step into something a bit more fantastical, and as a big fan of his previous work I am incredibly excited to see what he does with it. This sounds like an idea that Charlie Kaufman would have, and that's almost as high a compliment as I can give any script idea.
While Matt Damon is going to be the lead actor in Downsizing now, Payne originally had a very different actor in mind to play the part. Back in 2009 - before the writer/director wound up making both The Descendants and Nebraska - there was talk saying that the comedy was going to reunite Payne with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti. What's more, it was said that the filmmaker was surrounding his star with an absolutely brilliant supporting cast that included Sacha Baron Cohen, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon - though the deals may have never been final. Still, unless the Downsizing script underwent some massive changes, it's entirely possible that Payne will still try to get an all-star ensemble together, and maybe even try and bring some of those great names back.
Being a part of Downsizing means that Matt Damon won't be able to star in Zhang Yimou's period piece The Great Wall. but the actor still has some big stuff still on the horizon. He signed on to star in The Martian this past spring, and Ridley Scott is attached to make it as his next film. He is part of an all-star cast in the sci-fi piece that includes Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Stan, Michael Pena, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Sean Bean, and 20th Century Fox has already dated the film to be released November 25, 2015.
It's somewhat unclear at this point, but here's hoping that Downsizing winds up being Alexander Payne's next film, as that's a movie I want to see as soon as possible