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#New Adam McKay Movie Project, with Robert Pattinson, Amy Adams, Robert Downey Jr., Hits Hollywood Studios

After months of murmuring, the latest A-list ensemble project from The Big Short and Don’t Look Up filmmaker Adam McKay has hit Hollywood.

Titled Average Height, Average Build, the project is being described as part serial killer thriller, part comedy. Like all of McKay’s recent work, the project will tackle larger socio-political ills — a la the 2008 housing crisis (The Big Short) and climate crisis (Don’t Look Up) — this time taking on crime and corruption.

McKay wrote the script and would direct the feature that hit the inbox of studio heads this week. Actors already attached include Robert Pattinson, Amy Adams, Robert Downey Jr., Forest Whitaker and Danielle Deadwyler. The script calls for many more characters to be filled in.

The project has been percolating with McKay for quite some time, with the filmmaker talking about working on a new script that would tackle “big, dirty money” during a Q&A at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. At the time, he described the project as a comedy.

McKay is planning on a late summer shoot in Boston. It does not yet have a studio on board to finance or distribute but with a cast as bright as this, that will undoubtedly change quickly. McKay’s Hyperobject Industries has a multi-year, first-look feature deal with Apple, while Netflix was behind his last feature, Don’t Look Up. The writer-director has already lined up key below-the-line talent including cinematographer Todd Banhazl, who worked on McKay’s HBO series Winning Time.

McKay’s Don’t Look Up starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, with an ensemble that included Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Mark Rylance and Tyler Perry. It was nominated for the best picture Oscar, with McKay picking up a nomination for best original screenplay.

The actors so far are newcomers to the McKay school of big-issue comedy, save for Adams. She and McKay previously worked together on McKay’s Dick Cheney movie Vice.

Despite the high-wattage cast and McKay’s enviable track record, the project is battling against some headwinds at studios, with several having already passed on it while others are taking their time to crunch numbers to see if it is workable. Should it go to a streamer, the starry cast would require up-front significant buy-outs.

Pattinson last starred in The Batman and will next be seen in Bong Joon Ho’s Mickey 17. Adams was most recently seen in the Disney sequel Disenchanted and will next be seen in Marielle Heller’s comedy horror Nightbitch. Downey will next be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer while Whitaker is currently shooting Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis. Deadwyler garnered much attention this awards season for her role as Mamie Till-Mobley in Till.

More to come…

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