Adam McKay’s star-studded Netflix comedy “Don’t Look Up” has begun screening for press, and the first reactions coming through on social media are ecstatic across the board. McKay follows Oscar winners “The Big Short” and “Vice” with a film that IndieWire’s own Anne Thompson calls “a dead serious and hilarious end of the world comedy” that feels like “‘Melancholia’ meets ‘Dr. Strangelove.'” McKay’s ensemble cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, and Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi.
Netflix’s official “Don’t Look Up” synopsis reads: “Kate Dibiasky (Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem — it’s on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate. With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Blanchett) and Jack (Perry).”
The synopsis concludes: “With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it’s too late proves shockingly comical — what will it take to get the world to just look up?!”
McKay wrote the role of Kate Dibiasky for Lawrence, and then he worked with DiCaprio for months fine-tuning the script before the actor officially signed on to star in the movie. In typical McKay fashion, he allowed his actors total freedom on the set when it came to improvising. One set piece that takes place in the White House’s Oval Office took two days to film because the cast did nothing but improvise. The scene turned out to be 16 minutes long but had to be cut down for the movie’s theatrical release.
“Don’t Look Up” opens in theaters exclusively on December 10. The film’s streaming date is set for December 24 on Netflix. Check out first reactions to McKay’s latest in the posts below.
Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is a dead serious and hilarious end of the world comedy, a Melancholia meets Dr. Strangelove —with a top ensemble in fine form, led by DiCaprio, Lawrence, and Streep. DiCaprio had been seeking a film to address the climate crisis in just the right way.
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) November 19, 2021
DON’T LOOK UP: I suspect the Academy will find this very shrimpy. Much to discuss, including Leonardo DiCaprio in a love triangle with two women over 40, Ariana Grande as Vox Lux, and a terrifyingly yassified Cate Blanchett as faux Mika Brzezinski
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) November 19, 2021
We’ve seen how the U.S. reacts to an impending apocalyptic disaster in other movies, but how would we REALLY react? #DontLookUp is a hilarious & horrifying satire about how painstakingly hard it is for us to actually save the day. It’s what you expect, but it’s super entertaining pic.twitter.com/MmjDztw5nX
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) November 19, 2021
DON’T LOOK UP is a present-day DR. STRANGELOVE — a funny, sickening, brilliant reminder of just how fucked the world will be if we don’t quickly get our shit together. Great perfs by one of the best casts ever assembled. Hilarious song from Ariana/Cudi. Stay thru the end credits! pic.twitter.com/CCysSsbazv
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) November 19, 2021
Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio walking into the Oscar race. Leo superbly playing against type that is landing him that nom. Voters will lap this film up. It’s Adam McKay doing what he does best, knocking satire out of the park #DontLookUp pic.twitter.com/zjXbGOU3lO
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) November 19, 2021
DON’T LOOK UP has some sharp capitalist and political satire if inconsistent humor. Leonardo DiCaprio is incredibly great here and gets an explosive Peter Finch in Network moment. Streep, Lawrence and Rylance are all good. Ariana Grande’s song is fucking hilarious. #DontLookUp pic.twitter.com/7VIhj0NAwV
— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) November 19, 2021
Don’t Look Up is a brilliant political satire and Adam McKay at his best. Easily the funniest film I’ve seen all year. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, & Mark Rylance are all freaking great in this. Oh, and Ariana Grande’s Just Look Up needs to be nominated. #DontLookUp pic.twitter.com/PTcizxYKoA
— Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) November 19, 2021
Adam McKay’s #DontLookUp is outrageously funny w/ satire that’s absolutely on-point. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence & Meryl Streep are marvelous. Timothée Chalamet is the MVP. Nicholas Britell’s score, perfect.Editor Hank Corwin is a master at smash cuts, heightening comedy pic.twitter.com/nIUlisCAqK
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) November 19, 2021
#DontLookUp is a bummer of a movie…in a GOOD way. Eye-opening look into our inevitable demise unless something changes. Leonardo DiCaprio is spectacular. Ariana Grande’s original song is another contender for that competitive race. Fake teeth will be very memorable for many. pic.twitter.com/L2vxffPOme
— Clayton Davis (@ByClaytonDavis) November 19, 2021
ARMAGEDDON as a comedy, #DontLookUp is a scathing – and oft hilarious – commentary on social media/big tech culture, Leo, Lawrence & Rylance all slay, Adam McKay’s best overall work by far, SAG ensemble heavyweight, Netflix’s most accessibly entertaining awards film to date pic.twitter.com/LvSqw2K8Fd
— EW (@ErickWeber) November 19, 2021
#DontLookUp is absolutely hilarious, pretty depressing & flat-out brilliant. A perfect social & political satire for our times, like Dr. Strangelove meets Idiocracy. Leonardo DiCaprio & Jennifer Lawrence are so good but also loved Cate Blanchett, Timothee Chalamet & Ariana Grande
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) November 19, 2021
“Don’t Look Up” is brilliant. Razor-sharp satire that asks why we aren’t all more terrified by an existential threat to our planet, while being very, very funny. Definite “Dr Strangelove” and “Network” vibes. DiCaprio is superb, among an insane cast. #DontLookUp pic.twitter.com/D9426PZYjq
— Andrew Marszal (@andrewmarszal) November 19, 2021