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HBO options yet-to-be-written coronavirus book for drama series

AT&T’s premium movie network HBO has optioned rights that could lead to the development of a coronavirus-inspired dramatic series.

Trade publication Deadline reported on Monday that the WarnerMedia subsidiary had optioned “The First Shot,” a book about the global race by scientists to find a cure for the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Deadline said film producer Adam McKay will serve as the executive producer of “The Untitled Vaccine Project” alongside the book’s author Brendan Borrell and producer Todd Schulman.

An option is a limited agreement that gives an individual or production limited rights to a story, screenplay or idea while the company lines up the necessary ingredients to turn it into a full-fledged movie or TV series.

The existence of an option doesn’t necessarily mean a movie or series will develop, but McKay and Schulman’s stature within the entertainment industry and their willingness to sign on makes it more likely than not that a project will come together in some form.

What the series might look like is anyone’s guess — Borrell is still writing it after securing a publishing agreement with Houston Mifflin Harcourt. As of Monday, his website was still asking people to email him with story ideas for the book.