Deadline reports that the premium cable network and Adam McKay are developing an adaptation of journalist Brenan Borrell’s “The First Shot” book proposal on the subject. Per the publication, the book tells the story of the global coronavirus vaccine race. It explores the companies and individuals putting everything on the line to save lives, the science it is based on, and the challenges playing out around politics, access, and safety.
The limited series‘ name — it’s currently referred to as “Untitled Vaccine Project” — is still to be determined. Additional details about the project, including cast, episode numbers, and a release date haven’t been released.
McKay’s Hyperobject Industries will produce the project and he will executive produce alongside Todd Schulman and Borrell.
HBO’s upcoming limited series is one of a variety of projects McKay is working on. The “Succession” executive producer, who is under a first look deal with HBO, is working on a limited series about Jeffrey Epstein, a drama about the Los Angeles Lakers, “The Uninhabitable Earth” anthology series that is climate change-focused, and he is working with Bong Joon Ho to adapt the Oscar-winning “Parasite” film into an English-language version.
As for Borrell, he has been closely tracking the vaccine search and has written dispatches such as the “The Dire Diplomacy of the Global ‘Race for a Vaccine’” for Wired, as well as articles for National Geographic and Science Magazine. Borrell has also covered rare genetic diseases for the New York Times and Australia’s flesh-eating bacteria issues for The Atlantic.
The project is one of a growing number of upcoming television shows and films that have been inspired by the ongoing pandemic. HBO is also preparing to release “Coastal Elites,” a coronavirus-centered comedy special starring Bette Midler, Sarah Paulson, Kaitlyn Dever, Dan Levy, and Issa Rae in September, while Vox’s “Coronavirus, Explained” limited series was one of several pandemic-focused documentary projects that premiered earlier in the year. Also, Adam Mason will direct “Songbird,” a romantic-thriller on the topic that will be produced by Michael Bay.