The story focuses on two astronomers who try to warn the world about a dangerous asteroid heading for Earth.
Netflix is wasting no time in creating the feature, as shooting is scheduled to begin in April and a release is planned for later this year.
McKay is known for his work on Saturday Night Live, directing Will Ferrell comedies such as Anchorman and, more recently, projects with a focus on business and politics.
McKay said: ‘I’m so thrilled to make this movie with Jen Lawrence. She’s what folks in the 17th century used to call ‘a dynamite act.’’
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