As was reported last November, McKay will write and direct an as-yet-untitled biopic of Dick Cheney, which will presumably cover not only his term as Vice-President for George W. Bush, but his time as serving as Secretary of Defense for George H.W. Bush, as White House Chief of Staff under Gerald Ford, and cosplaying Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life. (Also a likely subject, considering McKay’s background in comedy: the time Cheney shot that guy in the face.)
Back in 2008, Cheney was played – scarily convincingly – by Richard Dreyfuss in Oliver Stone’s otherwise forgettable W. According to Variety, McKay’s Oscar-nominated Big Short player Christian Bale will take on the role of Cheney, presumably after undergoing a grueling physical transformation of some kind or another (his American Hustle wig-maker has probably already been summoned); Bale’s Big Short co-star Steve Carell is reportedly in talks to play Cheney’s partner-in-war-crimes Donald Rumsfeld. (Brad Pitt will sit this one out, though as with Big Short, his Plan B production company is on board.) And just to keep things familiar, Bale’s American Hustle and The Fighter co-star Amy Adams will play wife Lynne Cheney. A left-out David O. Russell must be slamming a door and screaming somewhere.
And in one more “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” move, the Cheney pic will reportedly shoot soon, aiming for a quick turnaround in time for this year’s award season; The Big Short had a similarly speedy schedule, and was a surprise late entry in 2015’s awards derby. It wound up with five Oscar nominations, and McKay and co-writer Charles Randolph nabbed the trophies for Best Adapted Screenplay. Time will tell if they can recreate that outcome.