Well.. I do take one drug now – for fun – and, maybe you’ve
heard of it, it’s a new thing, I don’t know if you have or not. It’s a
new thing, it makes you small. [ indicates size with fingers ] About
big. And, you know, I’ll be home, sitting with my friends, and, uh..
we’ll be sitting around, and somebody will say, “Heeeyyy.. let’s get
small!” So, you know, we get small, and uh.. the only bad thing is if
tall people come over. You’re walking around going, “Ah hahaha..!” Now, I know
I shouldn’t get small when I’m driving.. but I was driving around the
other day, and I said, “What the heck?” You know? So I’m driving like..
[ extends arms high in the air like he’s reaching up to a giant
steering wheel ] And, uh.. a cop pulls me over. And he makes me get
out, he looks at me and he says, “Heyyy.. are you small”? I said,
“No-o-o! I’m not!” He said, “Well, I’m gonna have to measure you.” They
have this little test they give you – they give you a balloon.. and if
you can get inside of it, they know you’re small.

- Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live

When you hear that Alexander Payne is making a movie called Downsizing, you might think it has something to do with the economy. And you’d be sort of right. But the film isn’t about job loss – it’s about people actually moving their sizes down. Becoming tiny. Getting small, as Steve Martin said.

Payne’s screenplay – co-written with buddy Jim Taylor – is about a man facing financial hardship who decides his life would be easier if he were miniaturized. That would be Paul Giamatti’s role. While shrunk, he meets a woman – to be played by Reese Witherspoon – and an itty-bitty foreigner, to be played by Sascha Baron Cohen.

Payne has a first look deal at Fox Searchlight, but Variety seems to think that the FX needs of a movie about people shrinking might place the movie outside of the Dependent’s fiscal comfort zone.

If this gets going it’ll be Payne’s first film since Sideways. That’s five years! It’s about time we got another Alexander Payne movie, and I’m all for a semi scifi social satire from him.