Home » Adam McKay movie starring Robert Pattinson, Robert Downey Jr. – The Hollywood Reporter

Adam McKay movie starring Robert Pattinson, Robert Downey Jr. – The Hollywood Reporter

by Stewart Cole

After months of mumbling, the A-list ensemble’s latest project from The Big Short and Don’t look up Director Adam McKay hit Hollywood.

Titled Average Height, Average Build, the project is described as part serial killer thriller, part comedy, following a killer who uses political lobbyists to change laws to make it easier for him to kill, according to sources. Like all of McKay’s recent work, the project will address larger sociopolitical issues – à la the housing crisis of 2008 (The Big Short) and the climate crisis (Don’t look up) — this time taking on crime and corruption.

McKay wrote the screenplay and was set to direct the feature, which was released to studio heads this week. Actors already added are Robert Pattinson, Amy Adams, Robert Downey Jr., Forest Whitaker and Danielle Deadwyler. The script requires many more characters to be filled.

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

But despite the high-powered cast and McKay’s enviable track record, the project is facing some headwinds at studios, with several already passed on while others are taking their time to pull the numbers. If it goes to a streamer, the star cast would require significant upfront buys, which is why some have been hesitant to jump in. Insiders at other studios note that it’s a particular challenge to release a dark political comedy in today’s theatrical landscape. McKay has noted to the studios that the project would appeal to both sides of the political spectrum, but not everyone feels that way. Apple, where McKay has a first deal, hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon.

The fact that a package that has an Oscar-winning team behind the camera, a director whose last film earned a Best Picture nomination and is populated on screen by award circuit regulars and superheroes can’t immediately find a home doesn’t exactly scream ” hot pack” and is emblematic of the current state of Hollywood. There’s a high degree of risk aversion—financial, thematic, or otherwise—with even streamers less willing to drop the big bucks they shelled out just two years ago to attract A-list talent.

McKay is planning a late summer shoot in Boston. The film does not yet have a studio to finance or distribute. The writer-director has already lined up key talent down the line, including cinematographer Todd Banhazl, who worked on McKay’s HBO series Time to win.

McKay’s Don’t look up Starring 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 Best Picture, with McKay getting a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

The actors so far are newcomers to the McKay school of comedy, except for Adams. She and McKay had previously worked together on McKay’s Dick Cheney film Vice. Pattinson last starred Batman and we’ll see it next in Bong Joon Ho’s Mickey 17. Adams was most recently seen in the Disney sequel Disappointed and we’ll see it next in Marielle Heller’s horror comedy Night dog. Downey will next be seen in Christopher Nolan Oppenheimerwhile Whitaker is currently filming Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis. Deadwyler garnered a lot of attention this awards season for her role as Mamie Till-Mobley in Up to.

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