Kristen Wiig Replaces Reese Witherspoon in Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing’

Alright folks, I got some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news? That Election reunion you wanted — with Reese Witherspoon teaming up to work with director Alexander Payne again — isn’t gonna happen with Downsizing, the filmmaker’s latest. But the good news? Kristen Wiig has stepped up to the plate to fill in her shrunken shoes, as she reunites with her The Martian co-star Matt Damon to star in the ambitious new sci-fi comedy.

Deadline, who initially reported on the news, states scheduling is the reason for Witherspoon’s departure. It’s possible her commitment to the mini-series Big Little Lies with Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Adam Scott and her Wild co-star Laura Dern is the root of her timing issue. The upcoming HBO program started filming in January, and it’s unclear when it’ll wrap. With production on Downsizing starting sometime this spring, it’s possible the turnout was too short to make it work for the ever-busy Tracy Flick.

Regardless, Wiig will join the ensemble alongside Damon, Christoph Waltz, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Sudeikis instead. And it’ll tell the story of an Omaha man (Damon) who participates in a groundbreaking new procedure that reduces people to a fraction of their original size, hoping to save on our diminishing natural resources. Think a more existential Ant-Man or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Wiig, Waltz, Harris and/or Sudeikis will likely play members of the tiny communities that now sprout up around the world. It’s also safe to presume Damon and Wiig will play mini-love interests for one another. Love is in small things, like they say.

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A passion project of Payne’s for years, Downsizing marks the most large-scale production the indie director has hosted yet, even if it’s focused on people who are many times smaller. It’ll be the director’s third film under Paramount, who also distributed Nebraska and the aforementioned Election. It’ll also find Wiig returning to the sci-fi comedy genre, after working on this summer’s Ghostbusters reboot and the Golden Globes-approved “comedy smash” The Martian. It’s hard to say where this one will end up, but Wiig has proven herself highly versatile as a dramatic actress of late with The Skeleton Twins, Welcome to Me, Nasty Baby and, most especially, The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Don’t expect this one to diminish her creditability in any way.

You get it? Because the movie’s called Downsizin….. You get it. You totally get it.

Will Ashton
Will Ashton
Will Ashton bleeds his pen to CutPrintFilm, The Playlist, MovieBoozer, We Got This Covered and beyond. One day, he'll become Jack Burton. You wait and see, buddy boy.