'Sideways' director to lead humorous family drama


June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 11, 2009 at 3:11 PM EDT

US Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne will direct his fifth feature, an adaptation of the family drama novel "The Descendants," Hollywood media reported Tuesday.

Variety said Payne would be teaming up again with Fox Searchlight for the film, with shooting with the yet unknown cast set to begin by next year in Hawaii. Payne had teamed up with the studio for his widely successful independent film "Sideways" (2004).

After an almost five-year hiatus in film directing, Payne has set out to direct the humorous drama, a small production that tells the tale of a powerful landowner who takes his two daughters on a journey to search for his wife's lover in hopes of keeping the family together.

But Payne is not stopping at that, with another project, "Downsizing," in the works starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Giamatti and Sacha Baron Cohen, Variety said.

The social satire sees Giamatti play a penniless man convinced that his life will only improve if he shrinks and Cohen, fresh from his outrageous comedy "Bruno," will play a tiny alien.

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