Casting Net: Reese Witherspoon joins Matt Damon in Alexander Payne's 'Downsizing' | EW.com

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Casting Net: Reese Witherspoon joins Matt Damon in Alexander Payne's 'Downsizing'

Reese Witherspoon

(Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

• Reese Witherspoon will star opposite Matt Damon in Downsizing. Alexander Payne will direct from a script he wrote alongside Jim Taylor. Set in the near future, the film follows a man who realizes he’d be better of if he shrunk himself. Payne, Taylor, and Witherspoon all previously worked on Election. [Variety]

• The Fault in Our StarsAnsel Elgort is joining Chloë Grace Moretz and Catherine Keener in November Criminals. Sacha Gervasi is directing. Steven Knight adapted Sam Munson’s teen-thriller novel for the screen. The story tracks two teenagers in Washington D.C. who investigate a friend’s murder, and fall in love in the process. [Deadline]

• Liam Neeson will star in a remake of Rupert Wyatt’s The Escapist. The original had Brian Cox as its lead, a prisoner sentenced to life who breaks out in order to see his sick daughter. Wyatt will produce the remake with Sean O’Keefe writing the script. [Collider]

• Exodus: Gods & KingsMaria Valverde is set to star in Ali & Nino. Asif Kapadia is directing the film, which is an adaptation of Kurban Said’s novel. Christopher Hampton wrote the script. Valverde will take the role of Nino, a Christian Georgian girl, with Omar’s Adam Bakri in the part of Ali, a Muslim man with warrior roots. Set in Azerbaijan, the pair are childhood sweethearts who are torn apart by political strife. [Deadline]

• The Drop’s Matthias Schoenaerts has signed on for director-producer Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl. Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, and Amber Heard also star. The film—based on the novel by David Ebershoff’s novel—tells the love story of Danish painters, Einar Wegener and his wife, Gerda. Wegener became one of the first men to have a sex-change operation; he had his procedure in 1930. Lucinda Coxon adapted the novel for the screen. [Deadline]

• Jack Griffo has been cast in Those Left Behind. The cast is composed of Daphne Zuniga, Michael Hogan, Debra Mooney, Colby McLaughlin, Annie Read, Grant Jordan, and Jack Herndon. Maria Finitzo is writing and directing the film, which follows Shelly (Zuniga), a woman who, upon returning home to be with her mother, faces her past in order to move forward with her life. Griffo takes the part of Noah, Shelly’s son, who is accompanied by his girlfriend on the trip. [The Wrap]