In his upcoming Netflix film Don’t Look Up, screenwriter-director Adam McKay explores how the world would react to an approaching comet that is set to destroy Earth. McKay puts his own spin on the serious issue of climate change by presenting the scenario with a comedic twist.
DiCaprio, 47, and Lawrence, 31, play two astronomers who discover the approaching comet and must warn mankind of its severity. Streep, 72, plays the President of the United States, who does not take the two scientists seriously.
In the movie, the comet is a metaphor for climate change, displaying the real-life division of believers and skeptics. Although there is nothing funny about the world being destroyed, McKay decided to address the real-life issue of climate change while making the audience laugh in the process.
“If we’re laughing, we can deal with stuff. It’s when we get, you know, overwhelmed with depression or despair, that’s when things get hard. So, as soon as I realized we needed to laugh when it came to dealing with the climate crisis, I knew where to go,” the former SNL writer said in a CBS News interview on December 5.
In Don’t Look Up, not only is there a parallel to climate change but to COVID-19 as well.
“I swear on all the holy books on the planet Earth that I wrote this before COVID, and it was one of those strangest experiences I’ve ever had,” McKay said earlier this month at the Contenders Film: Los Angeles. “The strangest thing about this movie was writing it, casting it and then seeing a lot of the elements come true, and then wondering: do you even make the movie?”
As the pandemic was beginning to spiral out of control, McKay decided to tweak the film to reflect the absurdity of what is going on in the world right now.
“Regardless of how you voted, I think we all have to admit seeing the President of the United States float the idea of ingesting bleach to deal with a medical emergency is an unusual situation,” he said. “When that happened, I right away texted my producer, Kevin Messick, and texted Leo and Jen was like, OK, we’re gonna make this a little crazier.’”
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Don’t Look Up.