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A quick lesson in the film-making business: the longer your film hangs out in development hell, the more of a chance there is that the cast you started with will no longer be the cast that you have in the end. We were reminded of this fact recently as Martin Scorsese's Silence lost Ken Watanabe in the run up to the end of an almost two decades of development. Yet losing a cast member, or in the case of Alexander Payne's next project Downsizing, a couple of cast members, isn't always a bad thing. Especially considering the new slew of actors that have signed on to the sci-fi film.
The Wrap has announced that a murderer's row of comedic talent has signed on to co-star in Downsizing, alongside leads Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon. The new line-up consists of the triple threat that is Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis, and Neil Patrick Harris; who are replacing originally attached cast members Sacha Baron Cohen, Paul Giamatti, and Meryl Streep.
Whether the parts that Baldwin, Sudeikis, and Harris are playing are directly related to those originally penciled in for Cohen, Giamatti, and Streep is unknown, though if we were to peg one specific instance of switching it'd probably be that of Paul Giamatti for Matt Damon. After all, the earlier phases of Downsizing just happened to coincide with the release of Sideways, and it wouldn't be a stretch to see Giamatti as a man who decides to shrink himself in order to save money and avoid the pressures of normal life.
While Matt Damon's recently revived career as an international super spy seems to be the more pressing priority in his career at the moment, it's even more impressive that he's landed a role in Alexander Payne's most twisted sounding comedy since Election. Even better, imagining Damon playing off of the likes of Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis, and even Neil Patrick Harris is just too good. Especially if Damon is playing the more milquetoast/zany sort of character he's played in the past, most memorably in his performance in The Informant, as seen in the clip selected below.
After scoring an emotional home run with Nebraska in 2013, Alexander Payne could use a zanier palette cleanser with Downsizing. And when it comes to casts, none could be zanier than the actors Payne has lined up to score big laughs in such a small space. Something about lining up the creative and comedic elements of Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon alone is fun enough, but with the rest of the cast that's boarded the project? That's enough to buy a ticket to see Downsizing right now and patiently wait for the pay off.