Exclusive: Matt Shakman in Talks to Direct Russo Brothers’ Cambridge Analytica Movie

     May 5, 2020

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Veteran TV helmer Matt Shakman, who has directed episodes of Game of Thrones and Fargo, is in talks to direct the untitled Cambridge Analytica movie for Joe and Anthony Russo‘s company AGBO Films, Collider has exclusively learned.

Avengers: Endgame scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote the script, and the high-minded project is financed and ready to go into production, though when that will be is anyone’s guess. David Gordon Green had been in talks to direct before opting to shoot a pair of Halloween sequels back-to-back for Blumhouse and Universal.

The film is centered around Christopher Wylie, the pink-haired data consultant who hatched the idea of Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that illegally harvested the personal data of 87 million Facebook users in order to influence the last presidential election and the Brexit vote. Wylie’s guilty conscience led him to become a whistleblower and tell his story, both in court and in the press, and it was an article in The Guardian by Carole Cadwalladr that was acquired by AGBO and serves as the catalyst for this project.

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Image via HBO/Macall B. Polay

The Russo brothers are producing with their AGBO partner Mike Larocca, and the Cambridge Analytica project represents an edgy departure for both the Russos and screenwriters Markus and McFeely. There’s no start date in place since it’s unclear when Hollywood will resume production, so there’s no official casting yet, though several distributors have already expressed interest in the project.

Best known for his 10-year stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shakman is a former child actor who applied what he learned on set to become a TV director. He’s been behind the camera since 2002, directing episodes of Mad Men, Six Feet Under and The Good Wife, as well as current cable hits Billions and Succession. He even directed the “Cherry” episode of The Boys, which gives him something in common with the Russos, who are in the midst of deciding how to release their own Cherry starring Tom Holland.

Shakman made his feature directorial debut with the 2014 crime drama Cut Bank starring Liam Hemsworth, John Malkovich and Billy Bob Thornton, and he recently directed an episode of Hulu’s The Great starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult.

Up next for Shakman is Marvel’s WandaVision, which pairs Elizabeth Olsen‘s Scarlet Witch with Bettany’s Vision, and co-stars Kat Dennings, Teyonah Parris, Randall Park and Kathryn Hahn. Shakman directed all six episodes of the series, which is expected to debut on Disney+ in December. Shakman, who also serves as the artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse, is represented by UTA, Artists First and attorney Todd Rubenstein.

For more on WandaVision and how the coronavirus pandemic may affect Marvel’s grand plan for the MCU, click here.

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