'Anchorman' Director Adam McKay Is Directing Michael Lewis's 'The Big Short'

Senior Editor
03.24.14 8 Comments

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Adam McKay got his start in improv and is known mainly for directing dick-jokey Will Ferrell vehicles like Stepbrothers and Anchorman, but for a long time it’s felt like he’s been chafing against boner jokes a little, wanting to do something more political. And now he’ll have his chance, having been tapped to direct a film adaptation of The Big Short, Michael Lewis’s book about the financial crisis.

“Anchorman 2″ director Adam McKay will direct financial drama “The Big Short” for Paramount and Brad Pitt’s Plan B.
The film will be based on Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine” about the housing and credit bubble of the 2000s. [Variety]

If you saw the graphic during the credits of The Other Guys, you know that this is subject matter that McKay has been interested in for a long time. And The Big Short is a fantastic book, cleverly telling the story of the credit bubble from the perspective of a handful of oddballs who predicted it, so that, chronologically, the story plays out almost like a heist movie and you end up rooting for the meltdown.

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower–and middle–class Americans who can’t pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking. [AmazonDescription]

Michael Lewis is one of, if not the best mainstream narrative non-fiction writer, but so far, all the film adaptations of his books (The Blind Side, Moneyball) have been barf-inducingly conventional. I don’t know if Adam McKay is planning something less conventional for a story that involves a lot of minutiae about credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities, but the fact that he was willing to crowbar an animation about the TARP bailouts set to Rage Against The Machine into the credits of a Will Ferrell movie about ballet and tuna makes me think he’ll at least try.

Also, if I could make a suggestion, Paramount should probably pursue a bit less product placement for this one.

The Other Guys Title Sequence from Grant Nellessen on Vimeo.

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