A central Idea of the successful Hollywood film „Downsizing“ (2017) is found in the German science fiction thriller „Das Miniatom-Projekt“ of 2006
Alexander Payne’s film Downsizing, which arrived in the cinemas of the USA in December 2017 and in those of Germany in January 2018 has gotten a lot of attention. It was presented for the first time in August 2017 at the 74th Venice International Film Festival. The title Downsizing refers to a process of „cellular miniaturization“ developed by Norwegian scientists through which humans could be shrinked to a size of 12 cm; in this way their life on earth would become much more environment friendly by reducing their waste and the quantities of raw materials they would consume. One of the characters of the film decides to undergo this transformation and the film describes the consequences of this process.
Two physicists who saw the movie or extracts of it remarked that this movie is based on an idea which is similar to that developed in the science fiction thriller Das Miniatom-Projekt by the physicist Richard M. Weiner. Richard Kerner, professor of theoretical physics at the Pierre and Marie Curie University of Paris, and Masud Chaichian, professor ot high-energy physics at the University of Helsinki, informed the author and the publisher that:
The idea of miniaturizing human beings in order to reduce the consumption of the limited reserves available on earth necessary for the life of mankind was suggested for the first time by Richard M. Weiner in his novel Das Miniatom-Projekt (2006) (the English version appeared under the title The Miniatom Project in 2010). As the title suggests the shrinkage takes place through the decrease of the atoms. This process takes place at CERN by using the world’s biggest accelerator of particles.
The Wikipedia article about the film also mentions this chronology.
In the book of Weiner the following sentences prove the similarity between the main ideas of the film and the novel. The main character of the book Trevor Mc Callum says: „I also asked myself, given the limited amount of resources available on earth, wouldn’t it be desirable to make human beings smaller? Quality of life wouldn‘t suffer. We would simply consume less energy and raw materials, and the existence of mankind could be prolonged.“ (p.133)
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