Deadline reports that Reese Witherspoon is joining Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, a “large canvas, science-fiction social satire” about a couple who find an unusual way to deal with overwhelming financial pressures. Witherspoon’s return to the project reunites her with Payne, who directed her in Election.

The project was originally set to star Witherspoon and Paul Giamatti as the couple who decide to literally shrink themselves as a means of escaping their situation. Payne’s The Descendants sidetracked Downsizing for several years, during which time Matt Damon replaced Giamatti in the lead role. Witherspoon’s character is said to have second thoughts about the whole literal downsizing idea (after all, wouldn’t shrinking yourself just make your problems bigger by comparison?) Meanwhile, her husband has already undergone the “procedure,” leaving the couple with challenges of a new magnitude.


Additional information on the project is minimal, and Damon is set to film another Bourne installment before shooting can begin on Downsizing. In the meantime, we’re left to wrestle with questions. How will Payne’s recurring themes of infidelity, road trips, and the great state of Nebraska figure into this fable of a proportionally mismatched couple? Will Damon get tiny all at once, like Honey I Shrunk The Kids, or shrink slowly over time, like The Incredible Shrinking Woman? How small does he actually get? Are we talking Alf short, three apples high, or Paul Rudd Ant-Man sized? What does a guy that small use for toilet paper, anyway? Only time will tell.