Adam McKay’s establishing a reputation as Hollywood’s foremost chronicler of the biggest hot-button issues… of ten years ago. He made blackly satirical mince meat of the subprime lending crisis with The Big Short, stepping back into our recent past to expose the avarice still at play in the world of macro-economics today. And for his next project, he’s going to take aim at a West Wing political player loathed and feared by liberals as a power-mad despot intent on destroying America. No, not him, we’re referring to a different wannabe fascist with the public graces of Darth Vader. To be specific, Dick Cheney.
McKay announced that he’d begun work on a Dick Cheney biopic not too long ago, and he took one stop closer to that goal today with the announcement that several big names have entered negotiations to star in the film. Deadline reports that Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Steve Carell have all been tapped for key roles in the buzzy project. Carell would star as former Defense Secretary Donald “Donny” Rumsfeld, Adams would portray Cheney’s dutiful wife Lynne, and reliable chameleon Bale would transform from this into this as Tricky Dick the Second himself. The film would purportedly chronicle the period of transition for Cheney from his tenure as the chief executive of Halliburton to the Vice Presidency, in which he claimed a then-unprecedented level of power for the office. (“That’s cute,” said Steve Bannon, somewhere.)
A born humorist with a penchant for topical commentary, McKay should make a marvelous fit for the alternately absurd and chilling story of Cheney’s rise to power. The Bush administration was a farce when it wasn’t terrifying, and while McKay should be a natural match, Bale remains an odd choice for Cheney. Differences in age and appearance notwithstanding, Bale doesn’t exude that same Hanna-Barbera-bad-guy energy that made Cheney such a captivating figure in the American imagination. But the man’s a consummate pro — if anyone could metamorphose into the physical manifestation of villainy, it’s him.