McKay will reteam with the studio and Plan B to tell the story about the former vice president who went from his CEO position at Halliburton to being VP under George W. Bush.
“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.”
Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce with McKay and his Gary Sanchez partners, Will Ferrell and Kevin Messick. The studio hopes to start shooting by spring for a late 2017 release. The screenplay, written by McKay, will go out to actors shortly.
Cheney was a controversial figure and known for expanding the powers of the presidency during his eight years as vice president. His initiatives included the push for post-9/11 war in Afghanistan and Iraq, based on notions that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was working with Al Qaeda. He also established the “enhanced interrogation program” of waterboarding. Prior to becoming the vice president, he served in the Nixon, Ford and George H.W. Bush administrations.
McKay’s last, film “The Big Short,” earned five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Director and won the Best Adapted Screenplay award.
The director will next work with Jennifer Lawrence on the medical drama “Bad Blood” about the blood testing company Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes. He will direct, write and produce through his Gary Sanchez banner. He’s also directing the pilot for the HBO series “Succession.”