Brow Beat

Big Short Director Adam McKay Is Set to Take On Dick Cheney in a New Biopic

McKay won an Oscar earlier this year for writing  The Big Short.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Adam McKay has lined up his next major gig. Deadline reports that McKay, who won an Oscar earlier this year for co-writing the screenplay of The Big Short, is turning his attention toward former Vice President Dick Cheney as his next subject for what is being pitched as a complex biographical drama. (The script has already been written.) Frequent collaborator Will Ferrell is again teaming with McKay behind the scenes, along with Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt’s Plan B.

The as-yet-untitled Cheney biopic continues McKay’s shift toward more dramatic, substantive fare; initially noted for such studio comedy hits as Anchorman, Step Brothers, and Talladega Nights, McKay changed gears with 2015’s The Big Short. Cheney’s pivotal role in George W. Bush’s administration feels similarly ripe for exploration given the intensely divisive political climate.

“I’ve always found Cheney fascinating,” McKay told Deadline. “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.”

McKay is currently directing the HBO pilot Succession, about the intrigues of a family-run media conglomerate, and is also preparing the feature Bad Blood, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Casting for the Cheney project is set to get underway quickly (we have one idea for who could play President Bush), with McKay and Paramount aiming for an awards-friendly late-2017 release.