Reese Witherspoon Aims to Keep Career Momentum With ‘Downsizing’

Adrian Sanchez/Getty Images

Adrian Sanchez/Getty Images

Reese Witherspoon is currently one of the names thrown in the Oscar mix, thanks to her starring turn in Wild, but the actress is already looking ahead to her next big role. The star has reportedly been cast as a lead alongside Matt Damon in the upcoming satirical film, Downsizing.

Directed by Alexander Payne, the movie is described as a sci-fi social satire and takes place in a not-so-distant future in which humans have figured out a shrinking process that will save resources. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Damon will star as an unlucky man, who decides he can have a better life if he undergoes the shrinking process. Meanwhile, Witherspoon will reportedly play his wife, who is said to have second thoughts about having the procedure. Unfortunately, her doubts arise after her husband has already been shrunk, leaving the couple with a whole new set of challenges.

This is actually the second time that the actress’s name has been dropped in connection to Downsizing.  Per The Wrap, Payne, who co-wrote the script with longtime collaborator, Jim Taylor, has been trying to move forward with the film since 2009, when Witherspoon was originally set to star alongside Paul Giamatti. The movie then got sidetracked for several years, with Payne going on to make The Descendants and Nebraska. During that time, Damon ended up replacing Giamatti as the male lead and funnymen Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis, and Neil Patrick Harris also recently joined the cast. Meanwhile, Witherspoon returned to the project, presumably in the same role. Those familiar with the actress’s past films may be excited at the prospect of her re-teaming with Payne. The two previously worked together on another satirical comedy, 1999’s critically acclaimed Election, which earned the actress her first ever Golden Globe nomination.

Witherspoon is coming off a pretty stellar year professionally, having appeared in several back-to-back critic-friendly flicks. Aside from spurring award season talk for her performance in Wild, the actress also played Joaquin Phoenix’s girlfriend in December’s Inherent Vice, as well as starred in October’s socially conscious drama The Good Lie. She also helped produce one of last year’s most buzzed-about movie adaptations, Gone Girl, via her new production banner, Pacific Standard. Now, it’s about keeping that momentum with the right projects. It’s too soon to tell if Downsizing will help Witherspoon continue her Matthew McConaughey-like career renaissance, as more specific details regarding the project are still scarce. Still, the film certainly sounds promising, especially given how brilliantly she and Payne previously mastered satire with Election.

But though Downsizing may now finally be getting back into gear, it will still likely be a while before the movie actually hits theaters. The film, which is not currently set up at a studio, won’t start production until after Damon finishes his new installment of the Bourne franchise for Universal.

In the meantime, the actress has plenty of other projects coming down the pipeline. She’s teaming up with fellow actress Nicole Kidman to produce and star in a television miniseries adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s New York Times bestselling novel, Big Little Lies. She is also set to star opposite Sofia Vergara in the upcoming Anne Fletcher-directed action comedy Don’t Mess With Texas, scheduled to hit theaters this spring.

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