Paul Giamatti, Meryl Streep, Sacha Baron Cohen And Reese Witherspoon Cast In Alexander Payne's Downsizing?

[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.

Payne is currently directing episodes of Hung, a HBO series about a high school basketball coach capitalising on his large penis. I assume he does this by acting in pornography though if you have any other ideas for making money out of a larger example of the male appendage, please drop them in the comments below. Said coach will be played 95% by Thomas Jane and 5% by a prosthetic, and Anne Heche will co-star as his ex-wife. A real shame for Kristin Bauer – she played the ex role in the pilot but was booted when the show was picked up and her scenes will be re-shot with Heche instead. Bad times.

I think we can all make an educated guess as to what Downsizing would be about, but I'd also like to be surprised. Hopefully more details will be forthcoming... unless the whole rumour just evaporates and Wells has been had like a monkey in Hartlepool.