Don’t Look For Director Adam McKay Explains The Film’s Strange Sudden Changes

If audiences were surprised by the sudden cuts to the stock footage of Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, then they got the exact reaction the director wanted.

Director Adam McKay explains why Don’t look up has so many weird edits involving stock footage and other footage. With Don’t look upthe man behind Vice and The big court returns to the awards conversation in a major way with a film that may well be the most controversial of his career. Don’t look up arrived on Netflix at the very end of 2021 and quickly became one of the streamer’s most-watched films. Its star-studded cast — which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep — undoubtedly helped draw in viewers, though the intense online debate that emerged regarding its plot likely helped as well.

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Don’t look up centers on scientists Randall Mindy (DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky (Lawrence), whose lives are turned upside down when they discover a comet heading for Earth. In six months it will strike the planet and kill all of humanity unless the powers that be come together to stop it. However, Randall and Kate are stunned to realize that instead of acknowledging the seriousness of the threat the comet poses, no one seems to care. In reality, Don’t look upThe title refers to the slogan adopted by the president (Streep) in an attempt to distract people from their impending doom.

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Like all of McKay’s films, Don’t look up has a fast-paced editing style that involves sudden cuts and stock footage of intercut animals and landscapes. Viewers may have been confused by the decision, but as McKay explained in a recent interview with Deadline, it was intentional. Editor Hank Corwin went along with McKay’s plan, which was to make a genre-changing film halfway through. “The world we live in today doesn’t adhere to one genre as much as it once did, shifting from wacky comedy to tragedy to drama.“McKay said.


Don't Look Up Director Celebrates Audience Divide

Don’t look up elicited many passionate reactions, especially from those who disliked the film. Many believe the comet story – which is an allegory of climate change, inspired by McKay’s own growing fears – lacks the subtlety to really make an impact. Some might say McKay’s thing with Don’t look upThe genre and editing of sticks to that, though no one can argue that he didn’t commit to what he set out to do. For his part, McKay welcomed the divisive reactions to Don’t look upbecause he wants everyone to really talk about it.


Don’t look up isn’t an easy movie to pin down, and that’s what makes it so interesting. You see it in everything from its shifting tone to its editing, and it seems likely that Don’t look up will continue to be debated for some time. It may not be the most beloved of McKay’s films, but as seen through his comments about his genre, it’s clear he managed to achieve exactly what he wanted with it. That alone is a pretty remarkable feat.

More: Don’t Look Up’s Credits Scene Offers Its Best Real-Life Character Gag

Source: Deadline

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