If you’re trying to escape the recent presidential election, entertainment hasn’t exactly been keeping out of the political arena. From the Hamilton cast’s plea to Mike Pence to Negan’s Trumpian victory lap at Alexandria in The Walking Dead to even some of the early critical reactions to The Founder, there have been reminders of our current reality everywhere. And now, for better or worse, director Adam McKay is adding more topical content to Hollywood by boarding a film about former Vice President Dick Cheney.
According to Deadline, McKay has been quietly working on a screenplay for the untitled film since he won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar earlier this year for The Big Short. He’ll also direct the Cheney biopic, much as he both wrote and directed The Big Short, and he’ll partner with the same production team of Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner from Plan B and Will Ferrell and Kevin Messico from Gary Sanchez.
The plan is to send out the screenplay to potential stars in the near future and to begin shooting by next spring for a projected release date in late 2017. [Editor’s Comment: Tracy Letts needs to play this part].
Cheney has been a polarizing figure: Vice President-elect 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.” McKay told Deadline of what drew him to Cheney’s story:
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.
Elsewhere, McKay is working on the HBO comedy Succession about a dysfunctional media family dynasty, Bad Blood with Jennifer Lawrence playing the controversial founder of the blood-test company Theranos, and Ant-Man and The Wasp for Marvel.