Oscar-winning The Big Short director/co-writer Adam McKay has become executive producer on Crook County, a Black List script by Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly that they will direct, based on the true story of the biggest undercover corruption bust in American history. Treehouse Pictures will fully finance. McKay’s antennae is clearly up on the collision of politics, commerce and corruption. He is directing the film about Dick Cheney, who became the most powerful Veep in history, and Bad Blood, with Jennifer Lawrence to play Elizabeth Holmes, whose blood testing Silicon Valley company Theranos became ridiculously overvalued, only to plummet just as quickly when the technology proved unreliable. McKay also directed the Gary Sanchez-produced HBO pilot Succession about a fictional global media family dealing with succession, politics and the 21st century challenges on media companies.
Brooklyn‘s Emory Cohen will play the protagonist, Terrence Hake, a young lawyer who risked his life to go undercover for the FBI in Chicago, in a sting operation that resulted in an unprecedented arrest of over 100 government officials. They brought down 17 judges, 48 lawyers, 8 policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, 8 court officials, and one state legislator. At one point, the FBI also flew in more than 400 undercover agents to train in a Hollywood-style prop-and-costume warehouse, to really commit crimes, to really get arrested, and to hire Mr. Hake to bribe government officials to get them off. This high-stakes political thriller is rife with the comedic absurdity of characters drawn into back-of-bar-room deals and shake-downs. Production will begin in the spring, in Pittsburgh.