Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer and photo for Downsizing, the latest from fimmaker Alexander Payne, which tackles the global issue of over-population in a very peculiar way. The title does not refer to downsizing on a corporate level, as it pertains to company-wide layoffs, but rather the downsizing, or miniaturization of every day people. While this gimmick has certainly been tackled before, Downsizing takes a global approach to a rather silly trope that has been used countless times in movies such as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and even Marvel's Ant-Man.
Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community, a choice that triggers life changing adventures.
The trailer debuted on the Paramount Pictures YouTube channel, although this has been in the works for quite some time. Matt Damon was first attached to the project back in November 2014, with Reese Witherspoon signing on in January 2015. After being attached to the project for more than a year, though, Reese Witherspoon ultimately backed out, with Kristen Wiig signing on in March 2016. The supporting cast includes Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Udo Kier and James Van Der Beek.
The trailer comes after the film held its world premiere screening at the Venice Film Festival in late August, followed by its North American debut at the Toronto Film Festival last weekend. It is also scheduled to play Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas at the end of this month, and the London Film Festival in October before hitting theaters on December 22, where it will face Warner Bros.' Bastards, Universal's Pitch Perfect 3 and The Weinstein Company's The Six Billion Dollar Man. Sony will also be releasing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle on December 20 with 20th Century Fox debuting The Greatest Showman on Earth on Christmas Day. Also, one week earlier, Disney and LucasFilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters, which is shaping up to be the biggest movie of the year.
Alexander Payne directs from a script he co-wrote with his longtime writing partner Jim Taylor, with this film marking their first collaboration since their 2007 script for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. They had previously co-written the films that Alexander Payne directed, such as Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt and Sideways, although Jim Taylor also co-wrote the script for Jurassic Park III and the upcoming Juliet, Naked, starring Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke. Take a look at the first trailer and photo for Downsizing below, as we get ready for the December 22 release date.