How ‘Don’t Look Up’ became a massive Netflix hit and Oscar nominee

Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy and Jennifer Lawrence as Kate Dibiasky in "Don't Look Up."
(Niko Tavernise/Netflix)

When “Don’t Look Up” hit Netflix — just in time for Christmas viewing — audiences hardly knew what was about to hit them.

No, not a giant world-destroying comet, but an apocalyptic satire starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, alongside a whiplash-inducing ensemble including Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill and Ariana Grande.

It’s a “satire about mass-media cynicism, political cronyism, big tech corruption, general American stupidity and anything else [Adam] McKay and his co-writer, David Sirota, can squeeze into their crowded fish barrel,” according to Times critic Justin Chang.

With four nominations for best picture, film editing, original score and original screenplay, McKay had more than Oscar in mind with his film. His main characters are not taken seriously in their attempts to save the planet, an attitude he believes persists today.