Adam McKay (The Other Guys, Vice) will adapt a limited television series for HBO based on author Brendan Borrell’s highly anticipated book, The First Shot, per The Hollywood Reporter. Both the book and the television series concern the race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. No publication date has been announced yet for the book.
According to Borrell’s blog, The First Shot is “a narrative non-fiction book about the global coronavirus vaccine race, the companies that are risking all to win it, the fascinating and sometimes surprising science that it is based on, and the challenges playing out around access and safety” (Borrell). Because the book is a narrative, it will likely follow a set group of people closely and narrate the race for the vaccine through their eyes. Again, the book is yet to be released, so it is unknown exactly what type of narrative the book will be comprised of.
The First Shot will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is also responsible for publishing Geroge Orwell’s 1984, Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, and JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The publishing company won the rights to publish Borrell’s book at auction.
McKay, who is adapting the book through his company Hyperobject Industries, is set to executive produce along with Borrell and Todd Schulman (Who is America?, The Lovebirds). This project is a part of McKay’s overall five-year deal signed with HBO in October 2019. Under the same deal, McKay has announced that he will develop a series adaptation of journalist Julie K. Brown’s untitled book on Jeffrey Epstein (not yet published), a limited series on the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, and a series adaptation of the Oscar-winning Parasite from director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, Okja). Meanwhile, season 3 of Succession (created by Jesse Armstrong), for which McKay serves as executive producer, has been set, although it is unclear when it will be released due to the coronavirus pandemic.