Alexander Payne’s New Comedy: ‘Downsizing’ – What We Know

Alexander Payne is an American director, producer, and screenwriter. He is a two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He has also been nominated on three occasions for the Academy Award for Best Director. Often, his films focus on middle-aged or older men who hit a crisis in their life. Some of his best films include ‘The Descendants’, ‘Election’, ‘About Schmidt’ and ‘Nebraska’. His latest movie ‘Downsizing’ is set for release later this year and here is what we know about this film so far.

The Storyline

‘Downsizing’ is a science-fiction comedy-drama. This social satire is co-written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. The story is about a married couple who decide that their lives have got out of control. For this reason, they decide to have themselves shrunk down as the man believes that they will have a better life by doing so. While the man is keen to go ahead, his wife waits until the last minute before she backs down. Payne and Taylor spent two years writing the script for this movie.

The Cast

Originally, Reese Witherspoon was set to play the lead role of Audrey Safranek as she was attached to the project since 2009. However, in 2006, it was announced that Kirsten Wiig would replace Witherspoon in the lead role. Matt Damon was officially announced as playing the lead male on November 5, 2014. On January 8, 2015, several other members of the cast were confirmed. These included Jason Sudeikis, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alec Baldwin. Other members of the cast that have since been confirmed include Christopher Waltz, Maribeth Monroe, Hong Chau, Rolf Lassgard, Don Lake and Margo Martindale.

Filming and Production

Ad Hominem Enterprises and Annapurna Pictures are the two production companies involved in this film. Annapurna Pictures are financing the creation of this film and also taking the lead in production while Payne’s company, Ad Hominem Pictures, are playing a lesser role in the production. The original distributor was 20th Century Fox but Paramount Pictures acquired the rights for distribution and this was announced on October 2, 2015. The producers are Megan Ellison Mark Johnson, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor. The score for the movie was composed by Rolfe Kent.Filming for ‘Downsizing’ began on April 1, 2016. The main location for the principal photography was York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. However, several other locations will be used in the production of this film. These include Trollfjorden in Norway and Omaha in Los Angeles.

The Release of ‘Downsizing’

‘Downsizing will premiere at the 74th Venice International Film Festival on August 30, 2017. This will be followed by the movies official release by Paramount Pictures in the United States on December 22, 2017. It is believed that a wider release of this movie will follow.

Fans of movies directed by Alexander Payne can look forward to a film that follows similar themes to his previous work. With so many big names in the movie industry involved in this project, either in the cast or on the crew, ‘Downsizing’ has the potential to become a box office success.


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