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Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence walk along the train platform next to an Acela train at South Station during filming of "Don't Look Up" on Dec. 1, 2020. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The upcoming Netflix film, “Don’t Look Up,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, is ostensibly about the discovery of a “planet killer” comet hurtling toward Earth. But the film is clearly an allegory about climate change, as the climate world instantly realized when the Netflix trailer dropped Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the most prominent climate change movie to be released since Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in 2006, and it has the best cast ever assembled around this topic.

  • In addition to DiCaprio and Lawrence, there's also Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet, Jonah Hill, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance and Meryl Streep, to name a few.
  • This may also be the first climate change-related comedy, especially one with subversive elements to it.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Details: When astronomers DiCaprio and Lawrence inform the White House of the danger the comet poses to our planet, the president, played by Streep, offers her plan. Her line in the trailer sums up the attitude of world leaders, the media and the public regarding climate change for decades.

  • “At this exact moment I say we sit tight and assess,” she says.

Quick take: The Adam McKay-directed comedy shows the inability of scientists to get the media’s attention about an obviously alarming and existentially dangerous situation.

  • Whereas 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow" showed hero scientists battling against a cataclysmic event, this one promises to showcase ignorance, denial, craven greed, and suppression of science.
  • This is closer to a realistic portrayal of what has played out as society has grappled with climate change.

Quick take, part 2: I asked Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer for her thoughts on the film:

  • “This movie may look like 'Deep Impact' 2.0, but I think it’s going to end up being way more about climate than it is about space,” she said.
  • “The idea that politicians wouldn’t take astronomers seriously when they say a comet is hurtling toward Earth is ridiculous. So why isn’t it just as ridiculous for politicians to ignore decades of climate science?”

Between the lines: The movie also brings the U.S. government to a stage where getting rich off of the comet becomes an end in itself.

  • There are parallels to climate change here too, given the Biden administration’s focus on climate change as a job-generator, and the meteoric stock market growth seen recently for electric vehicle manufacturers.

Go deeper: Netflix Q&A with McKay, DiCaprio and Lawrence on the film's inspiration."Don’t Look Up" premieres in select theaters on Dec. 10, and arrives on Netflix Dec. 24.

Go deeper

Nov 29, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Fall is trending warmer in Minneapolis

Expand chart
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Axios Visuals

This year's warm fall was not just a one-off. Autumn in Minnesota is getting warmer.

The details: The number of days with above-average temperatures in fall has been creeping up for the past 50 years in Minneapolis, according to NOAA data analyzed by climate science research group Climate Central.

Women politicians are under siege

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Stefani Reynolds, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women in Congress feel besieged and singled-out amid surging threats against lawmakers at all levels, with some frustrated more hasn't been done to halt the trend.

Why it matters: As record numbers of American women are being elected to public office, their growing political power is being met with death and rape threats, sexist and racist abuse and online disinformation. Collectively, it's discouraged women from running for office.

New report hits DOJ over lack of police shooting data

Demonstrations followed the shooting of Dijon Kizzee by Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies in 2020. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A new government accountability report says the Department of Justice failed to consistently publish an annual summary of police excessive force data from 2016 to 2020, as required by federal law.

Why it matters: The data is crucial for the DOJ to monitor excessive force cases, and used to investigate law enforcement agencies with patterns of abuse. The DOJ can pivot off it to pursue court action to force reforms.

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