Adam McKay Developing HBO Limited Series About Hunt for COVID-19 Vaccine

     July 27, 2020

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Despite having more than 40 projects in development around town, Adam McKay is slapping his name on one more, hopping back into business with HBO on an untitled limited series about the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine.

HBO has optioned the non-fiction book The First Show from author Brendan Borrell, who writes for the New York Times, the Atlantic and Wired, the latter of which published his piece The Dire Diplomacy of the Global ‘Race for a Vaccine.’ The book will explore the people and companies risking everything to find a vaccine, as well as the science it’s based on and the political challenges regarding its safe dispersal.

adam-mckay-the-first-show-covid-vaccine-series-hbo

Image via Annapurna Pictures

The race to find a vaccine is currently taking place across the globe, and whoever develops the most effective treatment will literally hold the fate of the world in their hands — not to mention a boatload of money. I’m particularly interested in what Borrell’s book has to say about who will get access to the vaccine first — the people who can afford it, or the people who need it the most?

Deadline broke the news, reporting that McKay’s Hyperobject Industries will produce the series, while McKay himself will serve as an executive producer alongside Todd Schulman and Borrell.

McKay struck a five-year, first-look deal with HBO last fall. The Succession EP is already developing an English-language series based on Parasite, as well as a limited series about Jeffrey Epstein based on an upcoming book from Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown. He’s also developing the climate change anthology series The Uninhabitable Earth for HBO Max.

McKay recently produced Hustlers and served as an executive producer on Booksmart and Netflix’s Eurovision starring his pal Will Ferrell. McKay is also a producer on the Kristen Wiig comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, and he had been busy prepping the star-studded Netflix movie Don’t Look Up when the pandemic hit. Additionally, HBO has ordered his untitled LA Lakers drama to series, and for more on that project, click here.

Television