Alexander Payne - the Academy Award-winning screenwriter who gave us Sideways (2004) and more recently Nebraska (2013) - is returning with a pet project long in the making.
Originally planned years ago, his new film, titled Downsizing, was due to star Paul Giamatti and Reese Witherspoon. That was before it was indefinitely delayed to get out of the way of Payne's The Descendants (2011). But now it's back on track and has a new leading man on board: Matt Damon!
The story follows a cash-strapped married couple who decide their best option in these financially difficult times is to shrink themselves. That's certainly one response to the recession! However, the wife backs out at the last minute leaving her unfortunate miniature husband to fend for himself.
Payne told Indiewire that he and Jim Taylor, who he shares his Oscar with for Sideways, had been working on the script for Downsizing for two and a half years. The director described the project as "a large canvas, science-fiction social satire” and “an epic masterpiece.” Let's hope it lives up to his own expectations then!
This exciting news got me thinking about my favorite miniature movie characters, so without further ado, here are my top three shrunken stars...
The Clock Family in The Borrowers (1997)
This devious little family bring me right back to my childhood! Dodging vacuum cleaners and drainpipes, they did pretty darn well to survive John Goodman's house of traps.
The Kids in Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
Rick Moranis' shrink ray may not have been intended for use on his kids, but the blunder certainly made for some great cinema!
That Dude's Head in Men in Black (1997)
"Do you have any idea how much that stings?!" No, but it looks pretty damn funny.
I'm sure Payne's Downsizing will be a lot less slapstick than these examples, and I'm looking forward to a more seriously satirical take on shrunken life.