Adam McKay is perhaps best known for his comedic work, having written and directed two of the best comedies of all time: Anchorman, and Step Brothers. More recently however, the director has transitioned into taking on more serious, politically-charged projects, such as The Big Short, Vice, and 2021’s Don’t Look Up. With this in mind, it’s no real surprise that Adam McKay has tasked himself with producing a film about the assault on the US Capitol building.
Just over a year ago, on January 6, 2021 the world watched in horror as the democratic integrity of America well and truly crumbled. As Congress prepared to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Donald Trump supporters had other ideas, ultimately storming the US Capitol building in violent and shocking fashion.
When Joe Biden was declared the winner of the Presidential election in November 2020, Trump and his followers were adamant that election fraud was at play. In the weeks that followed, the fires were stoked across social media and news coverage, leading to what is described as the worst domestic attack on democracy since the Civil War.
The feature film, currently titled J6, is written by Billy Ray, who is also set to direct. The project had initially been planned as a long-form television series, but when the script was brought to Adam McKay’s attention, this was revised. Billy Ray reportedly condensed 300 pages of script into a 120-page feature, and created something entirely new.
J6 will see McKay continue his mission to make movies based on true stories, but there have been questions raised as to the immediacy of this particular event and whether a retelling of this manner is appropriate, or necessary. McKay however is quoted as saying the film “is sure to become the definitive cinematic documentation on that gut-wrenching day.”
Billy Ray has also shared some insight as to what we can expect: “The goal was to do a ground-level view of a momentous day. It’s about protesters who became rioters and cops who became defenders of democracy. I wanted to stay in the trenches.”
It is suggested that Ray will take a documentarian approach to the project, in an attempt to uphold the truth of what unfolded on that day. Fellow filmmaker, Cullen Hoback, who created a documentary series about the events, said: “Billy’s journalistic approach will make it more difficult for opportunistic politicians and pundits to rewrite history.”
The project doesn’t currently have a home, but will be pitched to studios and streaming services in the near future, and conversations with financiers have already begun.