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SYFY WIRE jennifer lawrence

WIRE Buzz: Jennifer Lawrence joins asteroid comedy Don't Look Up; Doc Savage series; more

By Jacob Oller
Jennifer Lawrence Getty

X-Men and The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence has only ever done comedy with broad swaths of drama or darkness right alongside, so it’s no wonder that her latest funny foray involves the death of the entire planet. Meteors! Hilarious, right? Lawrence will lead Don’t Look Up, a story about an impending interstellar doomsday from director Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman), and flash some of her comedy chops along the way.

The Hollywood Reporter first confirmed that the star had boarded the project, which only recently landed at Netflix with a budget of at least $75M after Paramount supposedly balked at the price. Now McKay has a tight turnaround to shoot his film about a pair of scientists who must inform an indifferent world about the incoming meteor that will wipe out the planet in half a year.

Lawrence still needs another scientist on her sci-fi/comedy team, but with A-list talent attached, things should move quickly through the pipeline. “Adam has always had great timing when it comes to making smart, relevant and irreverent films that depict our culture," said Netflix's head of film Scott Stuber, per THR. "Even if he somehow ends up predicting planet Earth’s imminent demise, we’re excited to add this to our slate before it all comes to an end.”

With a star now attached, production is scheduled for April with the hopes that the sci-fi comedy will be able to hit the streaming service by the end of 2020.

Next, a superhero forerunner is getting a modern facelift. Doc Savage, the pulp hero who prefaced Stan Lee’s spandexed creations and inspired characters like Indiana Jones, is coming to TV.

Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Television, Original Film, and Condé Nast Entertainment are developing a Doc Savage series delving into the long-running hero’s adventures featuring dinosaurs, traps, dungeons, treasures, and a decidedly old-school take on international relations. Dinosaurs? That’s right, which makes the seemingly live-action take on the character even more interesting.

Moving from pulp novels to comics, Savage was a classic for many fans of the medium, leading to film adaptations like 1975’s Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze and attempted adaptations like a Shane Black-written version that would’ve starred Dwayne Johnson. Now that things are moving forward with a series — a suitable fit thanks to the prolific source material to pull from — Doc Savage could make a mark since it’s coming from the same company that previously got The Boys and Preacher from page to screen.

There’s no timeline yet set for the series.

Finally, Area 51 might just have a familiar face outside its gates soon enough. That’s because actor Rhys Darby (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Flight of the Conchords) is launching his own alien investigation podcast called Aliens Like Us.

According to a release, Darby will be joined by Henry Zebrowski (Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell) and physicist Brooks Agnew among other “alien nerds, pop culture pundits, and space experts” as he attempts to answer some truly interstellar questions. Perhaps as Don’t Look Up gets closer to its theatrical date, the actor could have Jennifer Lawrence on his Spotify-exclusive podcast.

Aliens Like Us, which dropped its first audio trailer, is going full tinfoil hat when it launches on Feb. 26.