Don’t Look Up is a tale of two low-level astronomers portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, attempting, via a media tour, to warn mankind about an asteroid that will destroy Earth. Along with Lawerence and DiCaprio, the Netflix original movie also stars Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Jonah Hill, Melanie Lynskey, Ariana Grande, Matthew Perry, Chris Evans, Tyler Perry, Melanie Lynskey, Rob Morgan, Mark Rylance, Michael Chiklis, Kid Cudi, Gina Gershon and Ron Perlman. Both written and directed by Adam McKay, we can expect the unexpected in Don’t Look Up.
Adam McKay says about the movie, “It’s not the most high-concept bizarre idea – the idea of a disaster movie in which people don’t necessarily believe that the disaster is coming. It goes back to the trope of the mayor from Jaws: ‘Love to prove that, wouldn’t you? Get your name into the National Geographic?’ So it’s two midlevel, very sincere astronomers who make the discovery of a lifetime, which is a killer asteroid headed toward Earth. They have to warn everyone and have to go on a media tour. It’s them navigating our world. It’s them navigating their equivalent of Twitter. It’s them navigating the political landscape. It’s them navigating talk shows and how they’re perceived. It’s DiCaprio and Lawrence and Rob Morgan trying to warn the world. I call it a dark comedy.”
McKay, who has known Jennifer Lawrence since she was a teen, penned the character for her, who was immediately down. He wanted to land Leonardo DiCaprio, and that proved a little more daunting. McKay explains, “I think he’s amazing and I love his work, but I just thought there’s no way he’s going to do this because if I could only work with Martin Scorsese, I would only work with Martin Scorsese,” McKay quipped. “I would be Martin Scorsese’s assistant on set. So why would he do this with me? But as it turns out he really loved the script. We went back and forth on it. It was about a four-to-five month process with us just kicking around ideas. We took a break for the quarantine, and lo and behold once we figured out a theoretically safe way to shoot this movie, he was in. I couldn’t believe it. It’s no surprise he’s fabulous in the movie.”
While McKay initially wanted to make a movie about climate change, the pandemic hit, and the story took a turn. He says, “That is kind of how it started. But then the pandemic hit. What that did was bring out what the movie is really about, which is how we communicate with each other. We can’t even talk to each other anymore. We can’t even agree. So it’s about climate change, but at its root it’s about what has the internet, what have cellphones, what has the modern world done to the way we communicate.” Netflix says we can expect a 2021 release.