With the worldwide pandemic still raging in places, you really would think that filmmakers might shy away from movies that tackle the subject as people keep getting ill and, sadly, dying. Yet the projects pop up, one after another, with the latest coming from an unexpected team-up: Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Moneyball writer Michael Lewis.

The writing/directing/producing duo, more normally known for the comedic likes of the Jump Street films, the LEGO movies and for shepherding this year’s delightful The Mitchells Vs. The Machines are looking to get a little more serious for the potential adaptation, which focuses on a series of medical visionaries who saw the dangers of an exponential Covid spread, based on the information that was coming from China, and by doing mathematical calculations, even as President Trump assured Americans they had nothing to worry about. The focus is on three main characters who work in the White House: a biochemist, a public health worker and a federal government employee. In their own way, they tried to sound the alarm and work around bureaucracies like the CDC. Their efforts didn’t prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths, but it helped keep death counts lower than they otherwise could have been.

Despite the weighty subject matter, there’s scope for something along the lines of economic collapse comedy-drama The Big Short. The next step for the duo – who plan to direct and produce alongside company partner Aditya Sood and fellow producer Amy Pascal (who had also been pursuing the book and is teaming up with the others). And even given the current situation, there’s every chance the film won’t come out until things are much better, as the team is looking for a writer and the directors are currently preparing to make astronaut drama Project Hail Mary.

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