matt shakman cambridge analytica

Matt Shakman, the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia veteran who directed every episode of the upcoming Marvel Disney+ series WandaVision, may be uniting with several other Marvel alums for a new film project.

A new report says Shakman is in talks to direct a Cambridge Analytica movie for producers Anthony and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Avengers: Endgame). Shakman is filling a directorial hole left by David Gordon Green on this movie, which focuses on the data privacy scandal Facebook was involved in during the 2016 United States presidential election.

Collider brings word about Shakman’s possible involvement, but like David Gordon Green before him, Shakman is only “in talks” for the position and hasn’t officially signed on yet. (Green was in talks last summer, but eventually moved on to direct two back-to-back Halloween sequels.)

The movie is set to focus on Christopher Wylie, who was at the center of the data privacy scandal; that company illegally mined unsuspecting Facebook users’ data without permission (through games like Farmville and innocent-looking quizzes). Wylie was the first person to illegally harvest the data for Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm which used that information to create micro-targeted political advertising that influenced the Brexit vote and arguably swayed the 2016 U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump. But Wylie blew the whistle on the company and shared documents with the press about the company’s illegal activities, sparking a firestorm around the idea of digital privacy which eventually led to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg testifying in front of the United States Senate.

Shakman has spent the past twenty years directing episodes of tons of hugely popular and/or critically acclaimed shows: Six Feet Under, Happy Endings, It’s Always Sunny, Mad Men, Fargo, Game of Thrones, Succession, and many more. He’s only directed one feature film, the 2014 indie crime thriller Cut Bank, but my big question here is if he’ll be able to make this story cinematic enough to justify a big-screen interpretation.

The Russos’ AGBO Films, which just released the Chris Hemsworth action thriller Extraction and has the Tom Holland opioid drama Cherry coming up, is behind this project, and I wonder if they’ll recruit another of their Avengers stars into the lead role here. (Maybe Tom Hiddleston? Sebastian Stan? Ty Simpkins, if they’re looking for someone younger?) It’s unclear when the project will begin production thanks to the ongoing global pandemic, but “several distributors have already expressed interest in the project,” and with this much talent attached already, it probably won’t go without a home for long.

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