"Anchorman" filmmaker Adam McKay to direct financial drama "The Big Short"

Director Adam McKay poses for a portrait session to promote "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" on Nov. 25, 2013, in Sydney, Australia.
Caroline McCredie/Getty Images
In a shift from comedy to drama, Adam McKay will write and direct an adaptation of Michael Lewis' financial crisis best-seller "The Big Short: The Doomsday Machine."

Paramount Pictures announced Monday it will produce "The Big Short" along with Plan B, Brad Pitt's production company.

McKay, 45, is best known for directing comedies, including the two "Anchorman" films, "Talladega Nights" and "Step Brothers." He regularly collaborates with Will Ferrell, who has starred in all of his films, including the white-collar crime comedy "The Other Guys."

But "The Big Short" will mark a pivot for the former "Saturday Night Live" head writer. In a statement, McKay said he and Plan B connected over the "breathless quality" of Lewis' 2010 book about the housing market bubble.

Plan B also produced Lewis' baseball tale, "Moneyball."