Don’t Look Up is a 2021 American apocalyptic political satire black comedy film written, co-produced, and directed by Adam McKay from a story he co-wrote with David Sirota. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep. The film tells the story of two astronomers attempting to warn humanity about an approaching comet that will destroy human civilization. The impact event is an allegory for climate change, and the film is a satire of government, political, celebrity, and media indifference to the climate crisis.
Produced by McKay’s Hyperobject Industries and Bluegrass Films, the film was announced in November 2019. Originally set for a theatrical release by Paramount Pictures, the distribution rights were acquired by Netflix several months later. Lawrence became the first member of the cast to join, with DiCaprio signing on after his discussions with McKay on adjustments to the script; the rest of the cast was added through 2020. Filming was initially set to begin in April 2020 in Massachusetts, but it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it eventually began in November 2020 and wrapped in February 2021.
Don’t Look Up began a limited theatrical release on December 10, 2021, before streaming on Netflix on December 24. It was praised for the cast’s performances and the musical score, but critics were divided on the merits of McKay’s satire; some found it deft, while others criticized it as smug and heavy-handed. The film was received more positively by scientists. Don’t Look Up was named one of the top ten films of 2021 by the National Board of Review and American Film Institute. It received four Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture), four Golden Globe Award nominations (including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy), and six Critics’ Choice Award nominations, (including Best Picture), and also won Best Original Screenplay at the 74th Writers Guild of America Awards. The film set a new record for the most viewing hours in a single week on Netflix, and went on to become the second-most-watched movie on Netflix within 28 days of release.
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