Marking a shift from comedy to drama, "Anchorman" co-writer Adam McKay will write and direct "The Big Short," an adaptation of Michael Lewis' bestseller about the financial crisis of the 2000s, Paramount Pictures announced Monday.
Paramount is producing the film with Plan B, Brad Pitt's production company.
McKay is best known as a comedy filmmaker and Will Ferrell collaborator, having directed and co-written "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Talladega Nights," "Step Brothers," "The Other Guys" and "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." McKay also co-founded the comedy website Funny or Die with Ferrell and served as head writer on "Saturday Night Live."
In a statement, McKay said he was attracted to the "breathless quality" of Lewis' 2010 book, which follows a few savvy investors who saw the subprime mortgage crisis coming and placed bets on the coming collapse.
McKay also said Lewis "has the amazing ability to take complex formulas and concepts and turn them into page turners."
Two of Lewis' previous books, "The Blind Side" and "Moneyball," have been adapted into feature films. The latter was also produced by Plan B, and Pitt played the lead role.