Alexander Payne is putting the finishing touches on the social satire Downsizing a script about small people, and has put together a big-name cast.
Paul Giamatti, Sacha Baron Cohen and Reese Witherspoon have all committed to star in the film, which would likely land at Fox Searchlight, where Payne has a first-look deal.
Giamatti, who previously teamed with the director on Sideways, is on board to star as a man low on money who decides he can have a much nicer life if he undergoes a process to shrink himself.
Witherspoon, also a Payne alum, whose career took off after starring in Election, would play a woman Giamatti meets on his journey as a small person. Cohen would play a pint-sized foreigner.
There are no deals in place for the three principals, and no negotiations will take place until Payne finishes his screenplay, which he is penning with Jim Taylor. Jim Burke is producing alongside Payne.
Unlike previous Payne pics, Downsizing would require considerable special effects and could push the budget out of Searchlight’s realm.
Project marks Payne’s first pic since “Sideways,” which was a Searchlight pic.