Succession producer Adam McKay to make drama about COVID vaccine race

The US director has turned his attention to the biggest story on the planet.

Adam McKay, Covid

The director and executive producer of Sky Atlantic hit Succession, Adam McKay, has reportedly started production on a drama series charting the race to find a vaccine for COVID-19.


The story, first reported by Deadline, suggests that HBO has optioned the rights to The First Shot, a non-fiction investigative book by the New York Times writer Brendan Borrell, who is known for writing deep stories about rare genetic diseases and Australia’s flesh-eating bacteria trauma for the likes of Wired and Science.

The First Shot closely follows the global vaccine race, investigating who is behind the vaccine research, both the companies and the individuals and explores their motivations and the science that is leading their research.

McKay is reported to be making what is known as The Untitled Vaccine Project via his Hyperobject Industries production company. The producer/director is best known most recently for the huge success of Succession, but prior to that HBO series he adapted and directed 2015’s Oscar-nominated movies The Big Short, about the 2008 financial crash, and a number of Will Ferrell-starring box office hits, including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

McKay has a five-year first look deal with HBO and is reported to be working with Bong Joon Ho on adapting last year’s Oscar-winning Parasite into a TV series, as well as an LA Lakers drama series and a limited series about Jeffery Epstein, based on a book by Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K Brown.

It’s not known when The Untitled Vaccine Project will be ready and, considering the race for the vaccine is currently a breaking news story without a conclusion, it will be a tricky series to deliver.


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