While the current focus might be on Donald Trump’s political Svengali Steve Bannon, he has nothing (so far) on the likes of former White House puppetmasters Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney. While much has been made of Kissinger’s effects on American politics, Cheney has always remained, well, somewhat in the shadows. But the story of George W. Bush’s Vice President, a former Haliburton exec, has caught the attention of Adam McKay, who last November was revealed to be working on a movie about Cheney.
Now, Deadline is reporting that casting is taking place for the still untitled project, and some of it is a bit head-scratching. Christian Bale is set to play Cheney (a role Tracy Letts was born for, so I’m disappointed even though Bale can do anything), Steve Carrell will play Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld (interesting …) and Amy Adams will play Cheney’s wife Lynne.
It’s worth noting, though, that Paramount has not yet given the film the green light, though McKay’s desire is reportedly to start filming in September for a late 2018 release. The film feels like one that should have come out during the Obama years, since it’s not likely to be a flattering portrait. With the current political pendulum swinging right, it would be a statement to move forward with it now.
As we wrote last fall, “Cheney has been a polarizing figure: [Vice President Mike Pence] called him a role model, but he implemented controversial post-9/11 anti-terrorism efforts while serving with President George W. Bush, including implementing waterboarding as an ‘enhanced interrogation technique.'” As for what drew McKay to the project,
I’ve always found Cheney fascinating. Questions of what drove him, what his beliefs were; but once we started digging I was astounded at how much he had shaped modern America’s place in the world and how shocking the methods were by which he gained his power.
McKay will write and direct, with Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner producing alongside McKay and his Gary Sanchez partners Will Ferrell and Kevin Messick. This is also known as “the group who brought you The Big Short,” and with some of the same cast returning in key roles, expect a similar aesthetic (as one colleague jokingly put it, “the greatest HBO movie ever made”).