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Adam McKay Bringing 'The Uninhabitable Earth' Climate Change Anthology Series to HBO Max

Adam McKay has received plenty of acclaim for his HBO series Succession, and soon he’ll be delivering another project to HBO Max as part of his five-year overall television deal with the cable channel and Warner Media’s new streaming service launching later this year.

During the HBO Max Television Critics Association presentation yesterday, it was announced that Adam McKay would be adapting David Wallace-Wells’ global best-selling book and New York Magazine article The Uninhabitable Earth into an anthology series for the streaming service. The series will tell “stand-alone fictional stories covering a wide range of genres and possible futures that could result from the rapid warming of our planet.” That’s one way to show people how terrifying climate change can be if we let it get out of control.

Named one of the best books of 2019 by The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, The Economist and more, here’s the official synopsis for The Uninhabitable Earth:

It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible—food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation.

An “epoch-defining book” (The Guardian) and “this generation’s Silent Spring” (The Washington Post), The Uninhabitable Earth is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it—the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress.

The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation—today’s.

Adam McKay will executive produce the series along with Kevin Messick through their Hyperobject Industries production banner, and he’ll also write and direct the first episode in the series. McKay said in an official statement:

“I’ve been chomping at the bit to get this show going. I’m very happy that HBO Max stepped up and made the commitment. There’s obviously no subject as vast and daunting.”

Though McKay began his career in comedy, writing at Saturday Night Live and directing films like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Step Brothers and The Other Guys, more recently he’s been focusing on dramas with a satirical edge that highlight major issues in our society, economy, and government. Both The Big Short and Vice got plenty of awards attention, and his series Succession has received a number of accolades as well. Considering how urgent the issue of climate change is becoming, it’s no surprise that The Uninhabitable Earth is a passion project for McKay.

Otherwise, the plan is for multiple directors and writers to get in on the anthology series and tackle their own stories, almost like a climate change Twilight Zone. The series is also executive produced by Paul Lee (Dickinson) and Mark Roybal (No Country for Old Men) through their company wiip, and David Kaplan (It Follows) and Andrea Roa (It Comes at Night) at Animal Kingdom.

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