Did “Don’t Look Up” predict the future?
A UK TV clip from GB News downplaying heat wave warnings has been drawing comparisons to the iconic fictional interview in the 2021 environmental comedy “Don’t Look Up.” A side-by-side comparison of the two snippets currently has nearly 21 million views on Twitter as of Thursday morning.
“A clip from ‘Don’t Look Up,’ and then a real TV interview that just happened,” teased Twitter user Ben Phillips in the caption to the cinematic weather forecast.
In the first segment taken from a GB News segment last week, British meteorologist John Hammond warns viewers that the temp — in Celsius — could double in the coming week.
“By early next week, you can scratch 20 degrees [68 degrees Fahrenheit], it could well be 40 degrees [104 degrees Fahrenheit],” the weatherman cautions. “I think there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of excess deaths next week.”
He added, “The charts that I can see in front of me are frightening. We all like nice weather, but this will not be nice weather, this will potentially be lethal weather for a couple of days. It will be brief but it will be brutal.”
At that point, Hammond attempts to rattle off more points but is cut off by host Bev Turner.
“So John, I want us to be happy about the weather,” she says, dismissing his ominous forecast. “And I don’t know whether something has happened to meteorologists to make you all a little bit fatalistic and harbingers of doom.”
Turner added, “All of the broadcasts, particularly on the BBC, every time I’ve turned on, anyone is talking about the weather and they’re saying there’s going to be tons of fatalities. But haven’t we always had hot weather, John?”
However, Hammond’s predilection proved to be prescient as temperatures did top 104 degrees in London while the mercury hit a national record-breaking 104.4 Fahrenheit Tuesday in eastern England. Meanwhile, over 1,000 people died across Europe due to the extreme hot spell.
If that wasn’t eerie enough, the snippet rang eerily similar to the dystopian scene from “Don’t Look Up,” in which Cate Blanchett’s broadcaster dismisses warnings by Jennifer Lawrence’s astronomer as a massive comet streaks toward Earth.
“I’m sorry, are we not being clear?” fumes Lawrence’s character in the prophetic clip. “We’re trying to tell you that the entire planet is about to be destroyed.”
Blanchett’s flippant news anchor responds by saying that their station likes “to keep the bad news light.”
Needless to say, many commenters were floored by the apparent resemblance between the two clips, with one aghast Twitter user calling it “surreal.”
“Ppl made fun of ‘Don’t Look Up’ and all I saw was a slightly exaggerated depiction of what our media and government are actually like,” lamented another.
One incredulous commenter argued, “I thought meteorologists’ main job WAS to warn about serious weather? Prepare people for natural disasters like hurricanes or HEAT WAVES? Not just give a heads up that your backyard barbecue may be inconvenienced by rain.”
“Holy s–t,” exclaimed comedian Patton Oswalt above a retweet of the comparison.
Even “Don’t Look Up” director Adam McKay chimed in: “There are clips like this from quite a few European countries floating around but not any from the USA,” he declared. “Why? Because the US, for the most part, doesn’t have any substantive discussions with climate activists or scientists on broadcast news.”
Yesterday, US meteorologists warned that the nationwide heat wave would continue to impact the northeast with temps in New York City, Washington DC and Boston slated to reach 93 Fahrenheit Thursday. Meanwhile, weekend temps will be even hotter and could rise to above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
This isn’t the first time a movie has allegedly prognosticated current events. In 2020, viewers pointed out the eerie similarities between the coronavirus pandemic and the apocalyptic 2011 political thriller “Contagion.”