Alexander Payne Finds 'Septillion to One' Odds in Romantic Comedy
The next film from Alexander Payne will be Downsizing, a comedy starring Matt Damon that will be a social satire which follows a man (Damon) who realizes his life would be much better if he were to shrink himself. The film will also reunite Payne with his Election star Reese Witherspoon, and it's supposed to shoot after Damon is done with the next installment of the Jason Bourne franchise. And now Payne is circling a project that could follow Downsizing as The Wrap reports he wants to direct Septillion to One, a romantic comedy spec script by Adam R. Perlman & Graham Sack that OddLot Entertainment landed.
Reportedly there was a heated auction for the script, and while Payne is not formally attached, it currently has his interest. The story is said to be inspired by the true tale of Joan Ginther, a woman who won the Texas State Lottery a whopping four times, taking home more than $20 million thanks in part to a PhD in statistics from Stanford. Described as a mix of Silver Linings Playbook and Ocean's Eleven, it will follow an FBI agent in the fraud unit of the Texas State Lottery who begins investigating a woman who has won the lottery multiple times. But in the game of cat and mouse, he falls in love with her.
It's rare that a script like this created such interest without any big talent actually attached to the project, which should speak to the quality of the script that Tom McNulty (who produced The Spectacular Now) developed through his MC2 for a couple years with Linda McDonough of Marquee Entertainment and OddLot Entertainment's Gigi Pritzker. This sounds like it could be a solid film for someone like Payne to make, but it's early days right now, so we'll see how long it takes to get off the ground. There's a chance that Payne may not even be the director who ends up bringing it to the big screen. Stay tuned.