A star-studded Netflix movie begins filming in Boston next month

Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more celebs join the production of 'Don't Look Up.'

From left to right, top to bottom: Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Rob Morgan. Associated Press and Getty Images

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Even with cinemas in Boston sitting mostly empty because of the coronavirus, the city will be full of movie stars come November.

“Don’t Look Up,” a new Netlflix movie from director Adam McKay (“Anchorman,” “Vice”), is scheduled to begin shooting Nov. 19 in Boston. The production boasts a star-filled cast on par with any major production filmed here.

Along with previously announced stars Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Cate Blanchett (“Carol”), and Rob Morgan (“Mudbound”), Netflix announced that Leonardo DiCaprio (“Titanic”), Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”), Jonah Hill (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Himesh Patel (“Yesterday”), and Timothée Chalamet (“Little Women”) will also star in the film, with singer Ariana Grande, rapper Kid Cudi, Matthew Perry (“Friends”) and Tomer Sisley (“We’re the Millers”) also making appearances in the comedy.


Also potentially appearing in the film? You, dear reader. Casting director Judith Bouley (“Hubie Halloween”) recently posted a call for extras on her company website, seeking “people of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities to potentially work as paid background actors,” with interviews to be conducted over Zoom.

“Don’t Look Up” stars Lawrence and DiCaprio play a pair of scientists who discover that an asteroid is on a collision course for Earth, only to find that no one will take their dire warnings of impending doom seriously.

McKay acknowledged the timeliness of the film’s end-of-days plot in a March interview with Rolling Stone.


“We were scouting a new movie in Boston when this whole coronavirus thing hit,” McKay said. “And the movie is about an asteroid that’s gonna hit Earth and destroy the Earth, and the two scientists who discovered it. … The whole idea is that the President doesn’t understand the science and kind of soft-sells it and the urgency is kind of lost. And so these two scientists have to go on a media tour and kind of get caught up in the social media vortex and TV shows, and they’re just trying to say that, ‘Hey, we’re all gonna die.’”


No word yet on which other local municipalities will be used by McKay and his team, but given the scale of the production, readers should be on the lookout for film crews through at least the end of 2020, if not longer.

“Don’t Look Up” was originally set to begin production in April for a December release, but was delayed by the pandemic.

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