Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence try to save the world in Adam McKay’s ‘Don’t Look Up’

Academy Award winner Adam McKay has loaded the cast of his latest film, “Don’t Look Up,” with enough Oscar-winning actors to put a starting five on the basketball court. The ensemble comedy from Netflix is out in theaters on December 10 before hitting the streaming platform on December 24 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio (a Best Actor winner for “The Revenant”), Jennifer Lawrence (a Best Actress winner for “Silver Linings Playbook”), Cate Blanchett (a two-time Oscar winner, most recently for “Blue Jasmine”), Mark Rylance (an Oscar winner for “Bridge of Spies”), and Meryl Streep (a three-time Oscar winner and the most-nominated actor in Academy Awards history).

But the cast of “Don’t Look Up” doesn’t stop there: past nominees Jonah Hill and Timothee Chalamet co-star, as does Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, and Ariana Grande, among many others. Those actors and more are all glimpsed in the first teaser for “Don’t Look Up,” which Netflix debuted on Wednesday. The premise, courtesy of the studio, sounds particularly timely — especially in light of how misinformation has run rampant during the coronavirus pandemic: 

“Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo 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 (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). 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?!”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, DiCaprio said, “Adam has an unparalleled ability to spark conversation with humor and timely stories. I knew when I read his script that it was incredibly unique, as it struck an important chord concerning the modern world we live in. Adam has woven an incredibly timely message about society, how we communicate, our current priorities, and the climate crisis into an absurdly funny yet important movie.”

DiCaprio and Lawrence are the stars here (McKay said he wrote the part specifically for Lawrence), and the initial trailer shows their often frustrating and futile attempts to get people to take the possibility of the world’s end seriously. The satirical tone of the first look recalls Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove,” and that’s not necessarily an accident. Back when “Don’t Look Up” was set up at Paramount (long before the coronavirus pandemic, in 2017), McKay said he was inspired by that film as well as “Wag the Dog” and “Network.” 

“If it is half as good as any of them, I will be happy,” McKay said at the time.

Watch the trailer above. “Don’t Look Up” is currently ranked 11th among Gold Derby experts in the Best Picture race, though that will no doubt change in one way or another once screenings begin later this year.

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