EXCLUSIVE: Annapurna Pictures has stepped up to finance and produce the Alexander Payne-directed Downsizing, a film which will go into production in early 2016. It will start production with a killer cast. In addition to Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon in the lead roles, the film will also star Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Sudeikis.
When Deadline yesterday scooped that Wild star Witherspoon would re-team with her Election director, it became a mystery where such a well-cast movie was going to end up. I’d thought it was Fox. There’s plenty of time to find a distributor, but the film now has its funding and Megan Ellison’s production/finance company has added another solid prestige film to its slate. The label is in the Oscar mix with the Bennett Miller-directed Foxcatcher.
Baldwin is shooting the NFL concussion drama at Sony that stars Will Smith, after he completed Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes film, Cameron Crowe’s untitled film and Mission: Impossible 5; Harris is coming off Gone Girl and is hosting the Oscars; Sudeikis is coming off Horrible Bosses 2.
Ellison joins Jim Burke, Payne and Jim Taylor as producers. Payne and Taylor wrote the script, a social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself. The film won’t begin production until next year because Damon will be busy reprising his Jason Bourne role for Paul Greengrass and Universal Pictures. The plan is for Downsizing to be released for Christmas 2017.