Transitioning from funny movies to “funny” movies that are actually about real shit has gone really well for Adam McKay, effectively giving him a second career as a serious filmmaker (even though the “we strictly do ‘80s Joel” moment in Step Brothers was already better than most movies), and now it looks like a couple of other comedy directors are going to try and make a similar career move.
According to Deadline, Phil Lord and Chris Miller have picked up the rights to The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, a new book by Michael Lewis (who also wrote The Big Short, lest you think the McKay comparison is arbitrary) about a number of “medical visionaries” who saw the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic coming and tried in vain to warn the CDC and the other government bodies that could’ve/should’ve done something about it. The project will also reunite Lord and Miller with Amy Pascal through Universal Pictures, who is producing here and also produced Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse with them.
Deadline says it’ll be tonally similar to All The President’s Men, but to put a fine point on it: It sounds like The Big Short but with COVID instead of the financial crisis, and it’s about the people who tried to stop it rather than the people who kind of caused it (or at least profited from it). Specifically, the story in the movie will be about “a biochemist, a public health worker, and a federal government employee” who all worked in the White House and tried to “sound the alarm” ahead of time, and though—as Deadline notes—”their efforts didn’t prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths,” they did help “keep death counts lower than they otherwise could have been.” Sounds like a fucking blast, right? From the directors of The Lego Movie and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs!