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The director is reteaming with Paramount and Plan B for an untitled film about former vice president Dick Cheney, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The project, penned quietly by McKay, will chart Cheney’s jump from his CEO position at Halliburton to his vp role under George W. Bush. While at the White House, Cheney pushed for the post-9/11 war on global terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq (based on unsubstantiated notions that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was conferring with al-Qaida), and instituted an “enhanced interrogation program” that included waterboarding. Before Halliburton, he served in the administrations of Nixon, Ford and George H.W. Bush. Often likened to Darth Vader, Cheney is one of the most enigmatic figures in recent political memory.
Plan B producers Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will again produce with McKay and his Gary Sanchez partners, Will Ferrell and Kevin Messick. The script will go out to actors shortly, as production is eyed to begin in spring for a late 2017 release.
The Big Short, McKay’s first foray into drama features, earned five Academy Award nominations, including for best picture and best director, and won the Oscar for best screenplay. The 2015 film was adapted by McKay and Charles Randolph from Michael Lewis’ book and grossed $133 million worldwide.
The project comes at a time when Hollywood is reeling in the wake of the 2016 presidential election that saw Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence pull off the upset win over the Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. McKay has never been shy about weighing in on politics, and offered his take on Washington during his Oscars acceptance speech earlier this year: “If you don’t want big money to control government, don’t vote for candidates that take money from big banks, oil or weirdo billionaires: Stop!”
McKay adds the project to his slate of socially relevant projects, including penning and directing the drama feature Bad Blood, starring Jennifer Lawrence as the founder of controversial blood testing company Theranos, and co-writing and directing the pilot of the HBO series Succession, the saga of a fictional, American global-media family that is not only rich and powerful, but also powerfully dysfunctional.
McKay is repped by WME and Mosaic.
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