Alexander Payne is currently in pre-production on his next film, Downsizing, but he might already be looking ahead to a future project. According to The Wrap, OddLot has just won a bidding war on the spec script Septillion to One and Payne is circling the director’s chair.
The story is based on the true story of Joan Ginther, who won the Texas State Lottery four times, taking home more than $20 million thanks in part to a PhD in statistics from Stanford.
The Wrap describes Adam R. Perlman and Graham Sack’s script as “a cross between Silver Linings Playbook and Ocean’s 11. Per the Wrap:
The film focuses on an overzealous former FBI agent who has been relegated to the fraud unit of the Texas State Lottery. He begins investigating a beautiful and shrewd woman who had inexplicably defied all odds and hit the lottery jackpot three times. He realizes the odds are over one in a billion for this to happen, creating a game of cat-and-mouse with the suspect, with whom he ultimately falls head over heels in love.
Based on this synopsis, it’s easy to see why the script ignited a bidding war. Payne could definitely bring a unique spin to the material by giving it his unique blend of oddness and melancholy. The story also seems elastic enough to have a variety of tones based on who comes on to direct and star. Even if Payne passes on Septillion to One, there are pretty good odds that this film will nab a filmmaker sooner rather than later.