In news that may leave some questioning the unchecked power of the Adam McKay industrial complex, the Don’t Look Up filmmaker is producing a narrative feature film based on the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021, reports Deadline. Considered the worst domestic attack on American soil since 9/11, the dramatic events inarguably offer great cinematic potential, so perhaps a big screen adaptation was inevitable. But to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum‘s Dr. Ian Malcolm: “The filmmakers were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
The film, currently being made under the title J6, has been scripted and will be directed by Billy Ray, best known as the writer behind the well-received Showtime miniseries The Comey Rule. Yeah, you’re remembering correctly: the political drama starring Jeff Daniels as ex-FBI director James Comey, pit against Brendan Gleeson‘s President Trump. Seems as though Ray has something of a penchant for oddly-timed, real-life political thrillers. What’s next, a Fauci biopic with Brad Pitt? Either way, the film is yet to be picked up for distribution, with Deadline confirming that the J6 script will be “shopped to studios and streamers imminently,” with early conversations around financing already taking place.
Joining McKay above-the-line will be Todd Schulman, Josh McLaughlin, Cullen Hoback, and the Comey Rule-attached Shane Salerno, previously an executive producer on the Comey/Trump drama.
To be fair to him, it sounds as though Ray has put in the leg work when it comes to research. According to Deadline, he “traveled to Washington, D.C. within days of the siege, and interviewed a number of the key principles when memories were raw and fresh,” including a handful of the first-responders who protected the Capitol. One such officer, Michael Fanone, consulted on the script throughout the process. “The goal was to do a ground-level view of a momentous day,” said Ray. “It’s about protesters who became rioters and cops who became defenders of democracy. Someone else can tell the story of the chaos at the White House on that day. I wanted to stay in the trenches.” Dude certainly isn’t devoid of rhetoric.
“Billy has written a screenplay that is not only harrowing and terrifying but is sure to become the definitive cinematic document on that gut-wrenching day,” McKay added. One might hope it remains the only “cinematic document on that gut-wrenching day,” but something tells us that won’t be the case.
The film was originally conceived as another limited series, but Ray cut the original 300 pages of scripted material into a 120-page feature script. It’s yet to receive a release date, or indeed, confirmation that it’s actually being made, but more as we have it.