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McKay May Direct Biopic on Political Consultant Lee Atwater

by
August 6, 2010
Source: The Playlist

Adam McKay

Looking back at his movies like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and now The Other Guys, two things are very clear: director Adam McKay loves comedy and Will Ferrell. But it now looks like he may be taking a step back away from both of those loves on a few projects. We know McKay is signed on to direct an adaptation of The Boys, the story of a superpowered CIA squad whose job it is to keep watch on superheroes and, if necessary, intimidate or kill them. While talking The Other Guys (via The Playlist), McKay mentioned another more serious project he's developing: a biopic on Lee Atwater, a Republican political strategist.

McKay is very vocal about his politics on Twitter and Facebook. I've even heard that the closing credits for The Other Guys shows an educational yet entertaining look at Ponzi schemes and our current financial crisis by way of moving graphs, pie charts and more. Having said that, I can definitely see how this could turn out to be a comedy, or even a parody, of a man who has been known to partake in vicious political campaigns. If you're unfamiliar with Atwater, you'd know his work from the infamous ad campaign which shot down Michael Dukakis' presidential run. But aside from his political clout, Atwater was also a man of rhythm and blues as he played guitar with Percy Sludge, B.B. King and even sat in for Paul Shaffer on "Late Night with David Letterman." The political and musical Atwater passed away in 1991 after a battle with cancer.

I think this is going to turn out to be quite an interesting project for McKay who probably won't be using straight-up nonsensical comedy, but more likely a satirical approach to this man's life. He'll be in good company working on the project (The AV Club says he's planning to direct it) since he told AICN that Jesse Armstrong, who wrote the amazing political comedy In The Loop (as well as "In The Thick of It," the British TV series), is working on the script with plenty of research being done on Atwater. It sounds like this isn't going to be a big movie (McKay thinks it won't be more than a $6 to $8 million flick) but it's certainly a project that he's passionate about and could end up directing after The Boys. Thanks to The Playlist for being so observant of this news in the interviews with McKay. What do you guys think about this?

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  • Al
    I was just thinking the other day that McKay's directing style would actually work handsomly outside of comedy. I love his dumb comedies (Step Brothers, ftw), so I'll be wishing him luck.

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