Adam McKay Signs First-Look Film Deal With Paramount

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Adam McKay

His longtime producer Kevin Messick will act as partner at Hyperobject, while Betsy Koch will also continue to work on both the film and TV sides. Producer Todd Schulman, who worked with Sacha Baron Cohen on comedies such as 'Borat' and 'Bruno,' is also part of the company.

Adam McKay and his Hyperobject Industries production company have signed a first-look deal with Paramount, the studio announced Friday.

Joining McKay in the new venture are some old colleagues. His longtime producer Kevin Messick will act as partner at Hyperobject, while Betsy Koch will also continue to work on both the film and TV sides. Producer Todd Schulman, who worked with Sacha Baron Cohen on comedies such as Borat and Bruno, is also part of the company.

McKay sees the banner as tackling a wide range of genres, from comedies, dramas and horror to documentaries and the politically charged and challenging subjects of his recent films such as The Big Short and Vice.

“Let's face it, the times we're living in are bonkers," McKay said in a statement. "There's a lot of change and upheaval. Some of it good. Some of it terrifying. We want Hyperobject to dive straight into these upside-down times with diverse creative partners, new ideas and projects that can excite audiences and generate event movies, TV, streaming or whatever."

McKay is currently writing Don’t Look Up, a satire he hopes to direct which centers on two scientists trying to warn an unreceptive and unbelieving populace about an impending meteor strike. Under the new deal, Paramount will be the first stop.

Executive producer Robyn Wholey, creative exec Maeve Cullinane and associate producer Staci Roberts-Steele, as well as Jenna Go, Stephanie Chopra and Daniel Omaits, fill out the Hyperobject Industries roster.

The pact resets McKay at Paramount. The filmmaker previously had a long-term deal with the studio when he was partnered with Will Ferrell and Chris Henchy under their Gary Sanchez banner. When McKay’s agenda had evolved to a certain point, that partnership dissolved earlier this year. The connection to Paramount goes even back further as the feature script McKay first wrote was for Paramount.

McKay already has a separate deal with HBO for series, docuseries and podcasts.

“We have long enjoyed a successful creative and collaborative relationship with Adam, and couldn’t be happier to be alongside him on this journey as he explores this latest chapter,” said Paramount's motion picture group president Wyck Godfrey.

In the announcement, McKay made it a point to note that his company stands in solidarity with the WGA and that no Hyperobject Industries project will be part of any packaging deals through WME, which represents McKay as a director and producer.