Filmmaker Adam McKay realizes that not everyone is going to love his work. This is especially true for his recent climate change parody, “Don’t Look Up.”
Part of the film’s appeal comes from its star-studded cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet, Chris Evans, and a performance by Ariana Grande.
The film tells the story of two astronomers (Lawrence and DiCaprio) from Michigan State who start on a media tour to warn the public that an approaching comet is about to destroy the planet after the President (Streep) and her son (Hill) tell them to “sit tight” with the information until after the mid-term elections are over.
Although the film has earned polarizing reviews from critics, it recently became the second most-watched film in Netflix history, just behind the crime comedy “Red Notice.” However, McKay recently admitted that “you’re never going to make a movie to appeal to everyone.”
Adam McKay Talks Polarizing Film: ‘Comedy Is Always Subjective’
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s “Today,” McKay admitted that he had anticipated some of the film’s critical reaction prior to the films’ release.
“Comedy is always subjective,” he said. “Certain people are going to think things are too funny or silly or not care for them so that’s built-in.”
McKay admitted that it didn’t matter if he made a “stark drama” or a “dystopic picture.” He knew that, when addressing a controversial topic like the climate crisis, “You’re never going to make a movie to appeal to everyone.”
“The idea behind it was ‘How do we get this urgency out there?’” he added. “The science is telling us that the problem is happening right now and it’s far worse than we thought. I felt like laughter was a good way to go because if you’re laughing then you inherently have some perspective.”
Leonardo DiCaprio Shares Why He Got Involved In The Film
Although the former “Titanic” actor was last to be cast in the comedy, he admitted that he “always wanted to do a film about this subject matter.”
“It is incredibly hard to tackle the subject matter over the climate crises in a two-, three-hour format. It’s something like a slow, deadly roll, as far as ramifications of climate to the environment,” he continued. “I really just felt like Adam cracked the code with this idea of it becoming a comet, and have society and the media and people make it a partisan issue.”
“I was a huge Adam McKay fan and of course, working with that cast was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he added. “But really at the end of the day, doing a movie about this subject matter at this time, there are very few movies historically like that.”
Leonardo DiCaprio Is Extremely Passionate About Climate Change
“The Wolf of Wall Street” actor has previously said that he has two great passions in life: acting and “getting the message out about the climate crisis.”
“I think there’s a worldwide sense of anxiety about the fact that the powers that be, the private sector, governments, are not making the transition fast enough,” he said, warning, “We literally have a nine-year window.”
“So, this movie is certainly not that far off as far as the urgency of the matter,” he added.
He also warned that “we’re not even feeling the real impact of climate change yet and our oceans are now warming at record levels. Each year is getting hotter than the next, and that doesn’t stop. We’re not going to see that stop. So, to mitigate the climate crises, I mean, it is, don’t look up.”
“When I say warming leads to more warming, it essentially means this: it ain’t going to get any better,” he added. “It can only get worse.”
“I think that’s why this movie has been controversial and a lightning-rod show,” he continued. “Some people knew how to react to it, some didn’t, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m very proud that it’s creating a conversation.”
“The movie is being watched all over the world, and there is a feeling of anxiety amongst the world community about this issue,” he went on. “Who knows if a film can ever change anything ultimately, but I’m certainly proud to be a part of a piece of art like this. Like Jen Lawrence says in the movie, at least we tried.”