Adam McKay sure knows how to get the people talking.
Fresh off the heightened online discourse surrounding his latest movie Don’t Look Up, McKay once again has the internet abuzz thanks to his just-announced movie about the January 6 attack on the Capitol building. Per Deadline, J6 will be directed by Billy Ray, with McKay set to produce. Ray was on the ground in DC in the days following the attack, and interviewed people who were there on both sides.
“Billy has written a screenplay that is not only harrowing and terrifying but is sure to become the definitive cinematic document on that gut-wrenching day,” McKay said in a statement.
But based the online reaction to the announcement, some audiences are not yet ready for Hollywood’s version of an event that was collectively traumatizing for a large chunk of the country. People also seem especially exhausted by McKay’s particular brand of satire, which turned a lot of people off following the release of Don’t Look Up. While this movie’s tone likely won’t be anything close to that of Don’t Look Up, McKay is very good at provocative, finger-on-the-pulse filmmaking, and has been known to engage with the chatter that his films generate, for better or for worse.
Just take when he recently implied in a tweet that people who don’t like his movie aren’t worried about climate change.
“If you don’t have at least a small ember of anxiety about the climate collapsing (or the U.S. teetering) I’m not sure Don’t Look Up makes any sense,” he tweeted in December. To his credit, McKay explained what he meant in a recent interview with IndieWire.
“Suddenly, it became like I was saying critics can’t say anything, and of course they can,” McKay said. “It’s important to have debate and passionate critics. We’re living at a time like no other and stories are part of it. People should be hating them, loving them, going back and forth. We welcome the negative reviews. I actually think it’s really good, that people should be fighting and passionate about it.”
Regardless of how you feel about McKay, he’s a supremely talented filmmaker who makes bold choices, especially in this phase of his career. And because he consistently chooses to tackle the most important topics of the day, he’s bound to inspire some pretty strong opinions. Below, we’ve gathered some of the more pronounced reactions to McKay’s new project, with many people pointing out that it’s just too soon to make a movie about the near-death of American democracy.
Check them out below.