Don't Look Up's Apocalyptic Trailer Would Be Funny if It Didn't Feel Depressingly Accurate

Netflix's new comedy about a comet coming to destroy Earth could either be great, or make you long for an extinction event yourself

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Jennifer Lawrence's Kate and Leonardo DiCaprio's Randall look shocked as they discover the U.S. President doesn't care about a comet coming to wipe out human life.
The U.S. government? Recalcitrant in the face of the greatest challenges of our time? Well I never.
Screenshot: Netflix

Even living in an age of climate denialism, pandemic denialism, and so on and so forth, you’d think a trailer for a comedy about humanity collectively burying its heads in the ground while a massive comet comes to wipe out life on Earth wouldn’t quite hit so disconcertingly hard as it does. And yet, here we are.

Netflix has released the latest trailer for Adam McKay’s new sci-fi movie with a comedy twist, Don’t Look Up. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as Dr. Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky respectively, an astronomy professor and grad student duo who make the miraculous, horrifying discovery of a massive comet orbiting with in the solar system... that has a direct, guaranteed collision path with the Earth. So far, so sci-fi disaster, but where the comedy twist comes in is that when Randall and Kate try to get a warning out to the U.S. government that humanity is on the verge of being wiped out... they find out that they don’t care.

In fact, no one seems to care, as Randall and Kate get increasingly desperate in their attempts to get the word out to the world that without immediate action, a comet the size of Mount Everest is about to kill everyone. As the end times draw near and getting that message out becomes tantamount to running a press tour with z-list celebrities, the six months the duo have to save the world start running out rather quickly, even if their warnings can be proved true by the world just craning its collective necks up and seeing doom in the sky.


Which yes, it is a pretty goofy trailer. Madame President Meryl Streep? Yes please! But it also feels distressingly accurate to the misinformation era in which we live in a way that cuts just close enough to the bone that you’re not quite sure whether you should be laughing along or crying into a stiff drink instead. Good job it hits Netflix on Christmas Eve then (December 10 in select theaters), because nothing says the holiday season like an existential crisis over your faith in humanity, right?

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