Adam McKay has become quite a fascinating filmmaker. While even his Will Ferrell comedies contain political messaging, his transition into becoming a prestige filmmaker has been intriguing. He won his first Oscar for writing the screenplay for The Big Short, a film that took an inside look at the 2008 financial crisis, and while his follow-up film Vice, a satirical biopic about the infamous vice president Dick Cheney, polarized critics, it still went on to be nominated for several Oscars.
Once again, Don’t Look Up looks to blend together McKay’s comedic origins with prestige filmmaking, lining up one of the most impressive rosters of stars in years and tackling serious issues through the lens of satire.
Watch The Trailer For Don’t Look Up
If you haven’t seen it already or are wanting to rewatch it again, here’s the official trailer for Don’t Look Up. It gives us a good glimpse at the madness and insanity that isn’t so far off from the truth all set to the ELO classic “Don’t Bring Me Down.”
What Is Don’t Look Up About?
Don’t Look Up is labeled as “Based on real events that haven’t happened…yet.” The film follows two astronomers from Michigan State University, grad student Dr. Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and her tenured professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio). When the two make the startling discovery that a giant asteroid is heading directly towards Earth and will eliminate all life.
Obviously, the two need to warn the world about humanity’s impending extinction and team with Nasa scientist Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) to inform the US government. Unluckily for them (and really the rest of the world), the US President is Janie Orlean (Meryll Streep), a narcissistic woman who cares more about her self-image rather than running the country. Worse yet, not even the media seems to care about armageddon and play it off as a joke.
While the film has a pretty bleak premise, it’s one that is ripe for comedy and will allow McKay and company to tackle real-world issues in a way that is memorable, relevant, and humorous.
Who Is In Don’t Look Up Cast?
The real question is; who isn’t in Don’t Look Up?
- Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Dr. Randall Mindy, and since the film is one big metaphor for climate change, it’s easy to see why the mega-star signed on to the film. DiCaprio isn’t a stranger to playing more comedic roles, while many know him for his serious roles such as Hugh Glass in The Revenant, Jack Dawson in Titanic and Howard Hughes in The Aviator, he was able to flex his improv comedy chops as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf Of Wall Street and was a riot as Rick Dalton in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
- Fellow Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence joins DiCaprio as Dr. Kate Dibiasky, marking her first true leading role since the 2018 spy thriller Red Sparrow. Lawrence has done films across all genres, from playing the mutant anti-hero Mystique in the X-Men films, young heroine Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and Tiffany, a young widow suffering from mental illness in Silver Linings Playbook.
- Three-time Academy Award winner and arguably the greatest actress to ever grace the big screen, Meryl Streep, stars in the role of President Janie Orlean. Streep is the most nominated actress in Academy history having been nominated 21 times and her role here, which according to McKay is a composition of the recent string of presidents from Clinton to Bush to Trump, could very well land the actress her 22nd nomination.
- Also starring in the film is Rob Morgan, who worked with McKay on the forthcoming Lakers HBO series, as Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe. While Morgan may not be the most recognizable name in the cast list, he has plenty of memorable roles including a heartbreaking performance in Just Mercy, a supporting turn in Dee Rees’ Mudbound and a minor role in the megahit Netflix series Stranger Things.
- Jonah Hill is among the cast list as well as Jason Orlean, the son of Streep’s Janie and the White House Chief Of Staff. After starting out in comedies such as Superbad and Knocked Up, the actor has started to branch out into more prestige fare with films like Moneyball and The Wolf Of Wall Street, with his roles in both films landing him a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
As for the rest of the cast, two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry play Brie Evantee and Jack Bremmer, the hosts of a news program titled The Daily Rip. Academy Award Winner Mark Rylance plays the eccentric billionaire Peter Isherwell, clearly inspired by figures such as Bill Gates, Ted Bezos and Elon Musk. Academy Award nominee Timothee Chalamet plays Quentin, a character described as a “evangelical shoplifting skater punk.” Grammy winners Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi play musical artists Riley Bina and DJ Chello (both Grande and Cudi helped write and perform a song for the film titled “Just Look Up”). As for the rest of the cast there is Ron Perlman as Colonel Ben Drask, Himesh Patel as Phillip, Matthew Perry as General David Myers, Chris Evans as Secretary of Defense Robert Anderson, Tomer Sisley as Adul Greilo, Melanie Lynskey as June and Michael Chiklis as Dan Pawketty.
When Does Don’t Look Up Release in Theaters and On Streaming?
Don’t Look Up will have a limited theatrical release on December 10, 2021, much like Netflix does with many of its high-profile movies, and will then release on the streaming service, two weeks later, on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2021. So if you want a movie to stream this holiday season, Don’t Look Up will be available to stream from the comfort of your own home alongside other major streaming releases such as The Unforgivable, Being The Ricardos, The Matrix Resurrections, Swan Song and Encanto.
When and Where Was Don’t Look Up Filmed?
Don’t Look Up was officially announced to begin filming in April 2020 with a release later that year. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on that plan. Filming ended up starting in November 2020 and officially wrapped the following February. Filming mainly took place around Boston, Massachusetts as well as nearby towns Brockton, Framingham and Westborough.
What’s Next For Adam McKay?
As of right now, McKay is still attached to direct and reteam with Lawrence for the Elizabeth Holmes biopic, Bad Blood for Legendary. Though with Lawrence’s schedule becoming more and more crowded, who knows when that will finally be ready to film. McKay also has the Netflix miniseries Kings Of America which reunites him with Amy Adams after working with her on Vice and Talladega Nights. McKay will executive produce the series and will direct the first episode which follows three women who fight back against Wal-Mart in the biggest class-action lawsuit in US history. McKay is also executive producing and directing the aforementioned star-studded LA Lakers series for HBO, which will chronicle the team’s meteoric rise in the 1980s. Also at HBO, McKay is helping fellow Oscar-winner Bong Joo Ho in the North American miniseries adaptation of the Best Picture-winning South Korean film Parasite.