A New HBO Series Will Detail The Global Race For A Covid-19 Vaccine

28 July 2020
Film, HBO, Series, Covid-19 Vaccine, Coronavirus, Covid-19
Image: Getty
Based on the book "The First Shot" by Brendan Borrell, the series will be helmed by succession’s executive producer, Adam Mckay

When it comes to TV’s most engrossing dramas and the series that prove so popular so as to become a pop culture phenomenon, often Hollywood’s best screenwriters need only plunder the depths of human history. While shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones will always hold timeless appeal for the characters they brought into our lives and the drama they delivered in 45 minute-episodes, lately our attention has turned towards shows that revisit those disasters of the past.

Journalism is, by its very nature, a profession where stories are to be broken quickly, with interviews taken on the spot. The fast turnover of news stories means few stories are afforded the analysis granted by history, of making sense of catastrophes, leadership turmoil, and politics that shaped the current climate. But if the success of HBO’s Chernobyl proved anything, it’s that audiences have an appetite for making sense of real life events, particularly those that helped shape the present and most certainly will affect the future. And when it comes to the current Covid-19 crisis, it’s an event of such dramatic scale and consequence that even the most imaginative creatives couldn’t script. Not surprisingly, it’s just become the latest subject for an upcoming HBO series.

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The spread of Covid-19 contains to bewilder health officials around the world. The rapid rate of infection has made the word “unprecedented” become the defining word of 2020 and for many, the chance of returning to a life where hugs could be given freely and social distancing restrictions were an unknown concept, seems unlikely until a vaccine is discovered. It’s this that HBO will focus on: the race for a Covid-19 vaccine. According to Deadline, HBO will turn this hunt into a limited series with Succession executive producer Adam McKay at the helm.

The series will be based off the book, The First Shot. The non-fiction narrative comes from journalist Brendan Borrell, who has written for The Atlantic and New York Times, and covered the global pandemic extensively. Borrell’s book is expected to be published later this year and tells the story of the global race for a vaccine, with Borrell following the companies and individuals involved, the science that such a vaccine is based on, and the challenges playing out around politics, access, and safety.

The book has already been auctioned off to the premium cable network, with McKay’s Hyperobject Industries expected to produce the Untitled Vaccine Projectworking alongside executive producers Todd Schulman and Borrell.

It’s certainly an exciting endeavour and one that, if done well (as we’re sure it will be) could prove to be an extremely gripping series, particularly given the timeliness of the subject.


Via GQ Australia