The creators of the recently released Netflix comedy “Don’t Look Up” stresses how the film gives the audiences a dire glimpse into the end of the world, but through a comedic lens.
“The idea with this movie was that the biggest story of all stories is the climate crisis — and what if we could laugh at it? What if we could create an absurdist comedy that reflects how absurd our ignoring the climate crisis is?” writer, director and producer Adam McKay told senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay in Variety’s streaming room, presented by Netflix. “The big moment in this film was where we decided we needed to laugh.”
In the movie “Don’t Look Up,” the world is facing a comet that is headed directly towards Earth and well, it is big enough to wipe out the existence of the entire planet. However, the people in power go on to neglect taking all the essential actions to avoid or stop it, even ignoring the scientists’ pleas. In Don’t Look Up, the comet serves as an allegory about the crisis in and other apocalyptic events, which, as the creator’s state, is quite striking as we are already suffering from the ongoing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the movie succeeds in weaving humor into the grim tale — with an all-star cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rob Morgan, and veteran actress Meryl Streep.
“Storytelling has that opportunity to sort of pass-through ideas in a way that just understanding information can’t always do,” said composer and songwriter Nicholas Britell. “If someone tells you something, it’s different than if you experience a story and you feel that knowledge… That’s what’s exciting about doing something like ‘Don’t Look Up.’”
“Don’t Look Up” also features big names in music. Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi play Riley Bina and DJ Chello, a celebrity power couple (with an on again off again relationship) who sing “Just Look Up” during a benefit concert in the movie, urging the world to open its eyes and listen to scientists’ warnings. Britell collaborated with Grande, Cudi and songwriter Taura Stinson to write the soaring pop ballad.
“I simply told [Britell], ‘Write the song to save mankind,” said McKay. “And this scene is a little bit of a riff on the fact that, sadly, our governments are so overrun with dirty money we’re not solving many problems, but one thing we can really do well is put on a great benefit concert.”