His exec-produced show Hung is doing well on HBO, but it’s been five years since Alexander Payne had a feature in theatres. (It really doesn’t seem that long since Sideways.) He was going to return with an adaptation of the novel Downsizing, an ambitious project in which a man purposely shrinks himself to be like a little person in order to have an easier life. Crazy tale, but there was a great cast attached: Paul Giamatti, Reese Witherspoon and Sacha Baron Cohen. But the movie would also have been crazy expensive, and it looks like that has killed it for now. Production Weekly said over Twitter today that Payne is now slated to go into production on another feature early next year. This one is an adaptation of the novel The Descendants. More on the project after the jump. Read More »
[Update: We have now heard from Meryl Streep's publicist, Leslee Dart, about this rumor. Referring to the Streep part of this casting news, Dart writes that "there is absolutely no truth to this." -David]
Jeff Wells appears to receive an unholy amount of gossip and tip-offs from his readers. The latest one he’s believed enough to publish is a casting notice for the previously unknown picture, Downsizing. According to the currently unsubstantiated e-mail Wells received, the film is to be directed by Alexander Payne and will star Paul Giamatti, Meryl Streep, Sacha Baron Cohen and Reese Witherspoon. You have no idea how much I want this to be real. That’s half of the reason I’ve brought the news to you here – the other half is that I suspect, actually, it is real.
Wells has apparently sent out dowsing e-mails to all the right people in order to find out how much water the story holds, but at the time of writing, still awaits replies. I’ll be hovering over his blog like a threadbare Eagle until my bedtime.
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