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Netflix Cancels Serial Killer Satire From Director Adam McKay Starring Robert Pattinson & Robert Downey Jr.


  • Average Height, Average Build, a serial killer comedy film headlined by Robert Pattinson, Amy Adams, and Robert Downey Jr, has been canceled by Netflix following Adam McKay’s exit.
  • McKay stepped down from the project to pursue a climate change-related project, leaving no plan to find a replacement and move forward with the film.
  • Despite the cancelation, the talented cast members, including Pattinson and Downey Jr, have other highly anticipated projects lined up, such as The Batman: Part II and All Star Weekend.

An impressive ensemble cast won’t salvage the future of Average Height, Average Build. The serial killer comedy film, headlined by Robert Pattinson, Amy Adams, and Robert Downey Jr, has been canceled by Netflix following writer and director Adam McKay‘s exit. According to Deadline, McKay has stepped down from Average Height, Average Build to pursue a climate change-related project, and with McKay no longer involved “there is no plan to find a replacement and move forward with the film.” The axed film’s official logline read:

“A frustrated serial killer meets a state lobbyist and chemistry ensues.”

Pattinson was set to star as the serial killer, with Adams on board as the lobbyist. Downey Jr. was slated to portray a retired cop intent on finding Pattinson’s character, with Forest Whitaker and Danielle Deadwyler also set to appear in the comedy satire.

Although we won’t get to see the talented actors on-screen for Average Height, Average Build, they do have a number of anticipated projects lined up: Pattinson will next be seen in the awaited The Batman: Part II as the titular character, while Whitaker will appear in Francis Ford Coppola’s star-studded passion project Megalopolis. Downey Jr., who is an Academy Award Best Supporting Actor contender for his work on Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, will star in the Jamie Foxx-helmed comedy All Star Weekend.

Details about McKay’s upcoming climate change project, and whether Netflix will be tied to it, remain unknown.

Related: 10 Disaster Movies to Watch If You Loved Don’t Look Up

Adam McKay: From Comedy Origins to Climate Crisis Advocate

Don’t Look Up

Adam McKay

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothee Chalamet, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Gina Gershon

Main Genre

Adam McKay, David Sirota

McKay, who is behind Netflix’s Academy Award nominated 2021 feature Don’t Look Up (which comments on the general indifference to the climate crisis), has remained a vocal advocate for climate change awareness. In an essay published in Jacobin back in March, the writer and director wrote:

“Extreme change is happening much, much faster than we thought. Water and food shortages are already here. With dozens of events — including the frequency of winter tornadoes tripling in the American South — popping up every day, it’s clear we are dealing with a ‘right now’ time frame. Nonetheless, governments, leaders of industry, the banking world, and large swaths of the news media have so far reacted like the blank-faced firemen in ‘Pleasantville.'”

In May, McKay founded Yellow Dot Studios, a non-profit that creates content to fight back on climate disinformation and inaction.

The writer and director is no stranger to broaching complex, real-life issues in his films: Vice, which follows Dick Cheney on his path to becoming the most powerful vice president in American history, utilized real-life footage (combined with stellar acting from Christian Bale, Adams and Steve Carell) to depict shortcomings in America’s political system.

McKay began his career as a head writer for Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2001 and then collaborated with fellow SNL alum Will Ferrell on several blockbuster comedies, including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Get Hard.

In 2015, McKay’s first satirical film, The Big Short, premiered. Starring Carrell, Bale, and Ryan Gosling, the film is based on the 2010 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, which details how the United States housing bubble triggered the 2007–2008 financial crisis. Among its many accolades, the film earned an Academy Award (for Best Adapted Screenplay) and was named one of the Top 10 Films of the Year at the American Film Institute Awards 2015.


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