- Mar 31, 2021
- Adam Mckay’s Hyperobject Industries and Three Uncanny Four Productions Premiere New Podcast “Death At The Wing”
McKay Hosts Documentary Podcast Series into the Untimely Deaths of the Brightest Rising Basketball Players & Reagan Era Policies of the 1980s and ‘90s
First Two Episodes Are Available Now
New York, NY – March 31, 2021 – Academy Award-winner Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries and Three Uncanny Four Productions, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, today announced the launch of “Death at the Wing,” a new podcast series that focuses on the tragic intersection of basketball, politics, and socioeconomics in the 1980s that led to an extraordinary number of untimely deaths of rising basketball prospects. Developed and hosted by McKay, “Death at the Wing” is a deep exploration of the intersection of sports and culture that began with “Reaganomics.” The first two episodes are available now.
Each documentary in the series focuses on one player, one tragedy, and the big forces that shaped the story. In reporting the series, McKay conducted interviews with experts, journalists, and former players, including NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West, journalist and author of “Basketball: A Love Story” Jackie MacMullan, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, professor of critical stories Dr. Todd Boyd, and The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer to talk about this lost generation of young basketball players and the way the country was transformed in the 1980s. “Death at the Wing” will help provide the overarching narrative to the changing state of the country and the resulting impact of drug and crime policy on specific communities of color from hard-hit cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and more.
“Death at the Wing” begins with an overview of the rapidly changing NBA of the 1980s. Throughout the series, McKay spotlights the league’s drug policies, the impact of Reagan Administration policies on the country, specifically in cities, and the failings of the mental health care system.
Adam McKay said, “I’ve been an NBA junkie pretty much my whole life and have always been haunted by the amazing young talents we tragically lost in the 1980s into the 90s. Once we dove in, it became obvious the tragic stories of these young, mostly African American men, are really the story of what happened to America over the last 40 years. A forty years that would see the NBA become a global powerhouse while the U.S. slowly came apart.”
Episode 1 – Tip Off: The Invisible Revolution
In the late 70s, the ABA, a renegade basketball league, merged with the NBA to introduce a new exciting game to Americans watching all across the country. The explosion of TV and the new attention economy was also the perfect setting for a movie-star-turned-President to start to remake American politics.
Episode 2 – Terry Furlow and the Crash After The Party
The dark side of cocaine reveals itself in the early 80s, and the NBA gains a reputation as a league full of drug addicts — just as the country is starting to scapegoat users with three simple words: “Just Say No.”
Future episodes will focus on the “Len Bias Law,” which sparked the decades-long War on Drugs, the shooting and murder of Chicago’s up-and-coming star Benji Wilson who first responders labeled as a gang member, the NBA’s attitude of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” towards players’ cocaine use, the NBA’s shift to one of the most socially conscious employee bases in the U.S., and more.
The series is executive produced by Adam McKay and Harry Nelson at Hyperobject and Laura Mayer at Three Uncanny Four. Jody Avirgan is producer and series editor. Raghu Manavalan and Brian Steele are producers. Listeners can subscribe to “Death at the Wing” on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. For more information on “Death at the Wing” and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts on Twitter and Instagram.
About Hyperobject Industries
Hyperobject Industries is a multi-platform production company from Academy-Award winning writer-director-producer Adam McKay. The company’s name is a shout-out to environmental philosopher Timothy Morton’s use of the term ‘hyperobject’ and his belief that humankind needs to re-evaluate its relationship with nature as a whole. The team includes McKay’s longtime producer Kevin Messick and producers Betsy Koch and Todd Schulman. Hyperobject Industries’ focus is wide ranging from comedies, dramas, horror, documentaries and documentaries-series as well as politically charged and challenging subjects with which McKay has become synonymous. Hyperobject Industries develops original podcasts, including Broken: Seeking Justice with Sony Music Entertainment’s Three Uncanny Four Productions. McKay also serves as an executive producer on HBO documentaries Q: Into the Storm as well as 537 VOTES. McKay’s upcoming comedy, Don’t Look Up for Netflix, tells the story of two low-level astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy Earth. Don’t Look Up stars Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rob Morgan, Meryl Streep and Tyler Perry amongst others.
Television projects include the previously announced HBO limited series, chronicling the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers and a limited series based on Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown’s upcoming book about Jeffrey Epstein. McKay and Bong Joon Ho are partnering to develop an HBO limited series inspired by Bong Joon Ho’s Academy Award Best Picture Parasite. In addition, McKay is set to re-team with Amy Adams (Talladega Nights, Vice) for the limited series Kings of America for Netflix. McKay and Messick continue to serve as Executive Producers on HBO’s critically acclaimed and Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series Succession.