The Uninhabitable Earth will feature five episodes that tell standalone and fictional stories about the potential future consequences that could result from the rapid warming of planet Earth. The series borrows its name and concept from David Wallace-Wells’ New York magazine article, which was later adapted into a book. Adam McKay (The Big Short, Vice) is set to produce the series in addition to writing and directing the first episode.
Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, made the announcement during WarnerMedia’s HBO Max presenation at the 2020 Winter TCA press tour.
“Adam is one of the rare artists who can deliver a pointed, impactful message in a piece of great entertainment,” Reilly said “I can’t wait to see what he does with this material, as there is no timelier and more relevant message than a wake-up call on climate change and the growing impact on our lives.”
Adam McKay and Kevin Messick will produce the series via their Hyperobject Industries imprint. wiip’s Paul Lee (Dickinson) and Mark Roybal (No Country for Old Men), Animal Kingdom’s David Kaplan (It Follows), and Andrea Roa (It Comes at Night) will executive produce as well. David Wallace-Wells is attached as a consulting producer. No release date has been announced yet but HBO Max is set to launch in May 2020.
From the TCA stage, Reilly specifically mentioned Black Mirror as a comparison for the anthology series. This makes sense as all burgeoning streaming services could use their own Black Mirror-esque speculative fiction pieces to get started with. McKay, who recently signed a five-year deal with HBO Max, will also be helping to shepherd another noteworthy project to the streamer with a serialized adaptation of Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-nominated film Parasite. McKay is well known for his climate activism.
“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,” McKay said.
Now it’s up to McKay and four other storytellers face the vast challenge.