The trailer for Netflix’s all-star comedy Don’t Look Up hit the internet not too long ago, and there’s much more to the story than simply a gaggle of famous faces showing up for a scene or two, with director Adam McKay admitting he had to make his script crazier given the series of events that turned 2020 into an unforgettable annum for all the wrong reasons.
The broad strokes of the plot follow Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as a pair of low-level astronomers who discover a comet is on a direct collision course with Earth, so they decide to set out on a cross-country road trip to ensure that a plan of action can be put in place to stop global devastation.
Of course, hijinks will inevitably ensure, and there’s a veritable bounty of A-list talent set to drop by at various points throughout the story. In an interview with Deadline, McKay explained how he managed to gather so many big names for the same project.
“First in the door was Jen Lawrence. I wrote the role of Kate Dibiasky for her. Without giving anything away, hers was the hardest road, which is to just tell the truth. Who’s better at spitting fiery truth than Jen Lawrence? I love when she does it, in films like Silver Linings Playbook and when you hang out with her, she’s got that vibe. That role was written for her. I wrote Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe for Rob Morgan. I had worked with him on the Lakers series that we’re doing for HBO and I just loved him. So, there were a couple people I knew that I wanted, and thank God, they got what I was trying to do, and they were in. And then, as every director imagines, you have the President in your movie, and you have to go to Meryl Streep.
I just never imagined she would say yes, once you get Meryl Streep, everyone else is more likely to be interested. We got great reads on the script from a lot of actors who said they’d been waiting for a project like this, with how crazy the world has been. They were excited to collaborate on something that tries to process the insanity of our modern world. They were excited it was a comedy, after how much we’ve all been pummeled year after year, to be able to laugh a little bit about this craziness, to try and find that distance to laugh. Meryl was in, then Cate Blanchett. Himesh Patel, Tyler Perry. Then Jonah Hill, I had to have him play Jason…”
Timothee Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Michael Chiklis, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Cate Blanchett, Himesh Patel, Matthew Perry, Chris Evans and many more will be joining DiCaprio and Lawrence in Don’t Look Up, and it helps that McKay has the industry clout and name value to get pretty much whoever he wants these days.