What do you get when you mix two Oscar winners, the writer-director of Anchorman, and a mountain-sized comet about to destroy the planet? Well, you'd get Netflix's first teaser trailer for Don't Look Up, a dark sci-fi comedy from Adam McKay that looks like a biting satire of humanity's self-destructive tendency to ignore planet-wide extinction.
Civilization may not be facing a deadly hunk of rock from outer space, but rampant climate change and a constantly mutating coronavirus are two biggies we're still trying to contain as a species. Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) lead the A-list ensemble cast as Kate Dibiasky and Dr. Randall Mindy, a pair of scientists trying to warn an uncaring world about their own doom. With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Dibiasky and Mindy must navigate the 24-hour news cycle and a social media-distracted public before the comet hits in six months.
Did we say satire? Yeah, this one might hit just a bit too close to home these days. "I’m suspicious of anything that feels like an old form,” McKay remarked in 2018. “We’re discovering new styles and forms, because this era we’re in demands it. The world has gotten so cartoonishly exaggerated and over the top. Why be subtle anymore?”
Watch the trailer below:
The rest of the central cast includes: Oscar-winner Meryl Streep (playing the indifferent U.S. President Orlean), Oscar nominee Jonah Hill (Orlean's sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason), Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (Brie, the co-host of a popular morning show called The Daily Rip), and Emmy-winner Tyler Perry (Jack, Brie's fellow co-host).
Mark Rylance (The BFG), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Timothée Chalamet (Dune), Ariana Grande (Victorious), Scott Mescudi/Kid Cudi (Bill & Ted Face the Music), Himesh Patel (Tenet), Melanie Lynskey (Castle Rock), Michael Chiklis (Fantastic Four), and Tomer Sisley (Messiah) co-star.
“It’s not the most high-concept bizarre idea — the idea of a disaster movie in which people don’t necessarily believe that the disaster is coming," McKay told Collider back in April of this year. "It goes back to the trope of the mayor from Jaws: ‘Love to prove that, wouldn’t you? Get your name into the National Geographic?’ So it’s two midlevel, very sincere astronomers who make the discovery of a lifetime, which is a killer asteroid headed toward Earth. They have to warn everyone and have to go on a media tour. It’s them navigating our world. It’s them navigating their equivalent of Twitter. It’s them navigating the political landscape. It’s them navigating talk shows and how they’re perceived ... I call it a dark comedy.”
In recent years, the filmmaker has switched over to more socially relevant projects like The Big Short (an inventive exploration of why the housing bubble collapsed in 2008) and Vice (a cutting analysis of Dick Cheney's tenure as vice president under George W. Bush). Both movies racked up several Oscar nods, with McKay taking home the Best Adapted Screenplay statue for his work on The Big Short.
Don't Look Up will play in select theaters on Friday, Dec. 10 before setting a collision course for Netflix Friday, Dec. 24.