Adam McKay’s satirical science fiction picture Don’t Look Up was written, produced, and directed in 2021.
It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as two astronomers attempting to warn humanity about a looming comet that will wipe all humanity. The comet represents climate change, and the film is a satire on government and media inaction on the issue. Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep are among the supporting cast members.
As part of the film’s soundtrack, Grande and Mescudi collaborated on the song “Just Look Up.” Hal Willner, who died in 2020, is honored in this film.
The film was announced in November 2019 by Hyperobject Industries and Bluegrass Films and sold to Netflix many months later by Paramount Pictures. Filming was supposed to begin in April 2020 in and around the US state of Massachusetts, but it was pushed back to November because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and it then lasted until February 2021.
Lawrence was the first to join the ensemble, with DiCaprio joining after discussions with McKay regarding screenplay improvements; the rest of the cast was added until 2020. Don’t Look Up will have a limited theatrical release on December 10, 2021, followed by a Netflix release on December 24, 2021.
Critics enjoyed the actors but were divided on the merits of McKay’s satire: some thought it was sharp, while others thought it was condescending and heavy-handed.
Nonetheless, the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute ranked the film as one of the top 10 films of 2021. It was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, and six Critics’ Choice Awards, including Best Picture.
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) January 1, 2022
Leonardo DiCaprio On ‘Don’t Look Up’: Most Important Issue In Civilization History
A massive comet is on its way to collide with Earth, resulting in the annihilation of all life on the planet. Two astronomers who are aware of the threat attempt to warn the authorities and the rest of the world, but no one is interested, let alone concerned about the outcome. Before you panic, this is not reality, but rather the premise of Netflix’s latest offering, ‘Don’t Look Up.’
However, there is a strong parallel between the movie’s premise and the current global scenario. Climate change is one of the most perilous phenomena that the world is currently confronted with.
Many people are unaware of the dangers it poses, and many more pretend to be unaware. Nonetheless, environmentalists as young as Greta Thunberg have been vocal in their efforts to educate seemingly uninterested corporations and the general public about the dangers.
Now, Leonardo DiCaprio, who co-stars with Jennifer Lawrence in the film as one of the astronomers, has drawn parallels between the film’s theme and climate change.
The ‘Titanic’ star went on to speak about how he bought into the film’s underlying message, crafted by director Adam Mckay, in an interview for the YouTube channel Netflix Channel Club. According to DiCaprio, the film is a metaphor for modern civilization and the world’s unwillingness to hear and respond to scientific truth.
“Adam, who has been vocal about climate change,” he explained, “really wanted to make a film that added a dark comedic element to what is a very serious subject.”
He praised the 53-year-old filmmaker’s vision, saying that he had created an incredible picture of how the human race would react to it from a political, social, and scientific standpoint and that working on the film made him feel for climate scientists.
He believes that until climate change is addressed on a micro level, the issues that the characters in the film face will appear in real life.
The climate crisis, according to DiCaprio, is “the most significant challenge that humanity has ever confronted in the history of civilization.” Don’t Look Up was launched on Netflix on December 5th of this year and is currently available to watch.
For more updates and reviews, stay connected to Stanford Arts Reviews.