Paramount surprised CinemaCon audiences on Tuesday with 10 minutes of Alexander Payne’s new drama “Downsizing,” a suprprisingly high-concept movie from a filmmaker known for more grounded, down-to-earth moviemaking.
How high-concept? Think a Payne-like version of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” In the clip, which got a very warm reception from the crowd in Vegas, Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig play a married couple who attend a presentation about literally shrinking themselves.
The pitch is made by Neil Patrick Harris’ character, who has already shrunk himself and now lives in a stunning home, bigger than he could’ve ever dreamed of in the real-size world. His wife, played by Laura Dern, just went on a shopping spree and bought a diamond necklace and matching earrings, for — whoa — $83, which, he says, is their food budget for two whole months!
Damon and Wiig first consider the Regency Level of “downsizing,” until they are shown something more “luxe.” They then undergo the process of shrinking, which involves a full body shave and, um — a full body flush.
The premise of the film is an interesting and inventive one, with the film seemingly exploring questions about carbon footprint, our needs over a lifetime and what we find important as people. The auditorium erupted in laughter at certain points throughout the clip, especially when the little miniature people came out of the shrinking machine. When the clip concluded, the audience cheered.
“Downsizing” also stars Christoph Waltz, Alec Baldwin and Jason Sudeikis.
Payne wrote the screenplay with Jim Taylor and is producing through his Ad Hominem production company along with Gran Via Productions’ Mark Johnson. Taylor and Jim Burke executive produced.
Paramount is planning a fall release in time for awards consideration.