DiCaprio and Lawrence are two scientists attempting to warn the world about a comet headed for a direct collision with Earth in this exclusive first look

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donrt look up
Credit: NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence are on a race against time in a PEOPLE exclusive first look at their upcoming Netflix film Don't Look Up

Lawrence, 31, plays Kate Dibiasky, an astronomy grad student, who, with her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (DiCaprio, 46), makes the astounding discovery that a comet is on a direct collision course for Earth.

What appears to shock Dibiasky and Mindy more is that no one around them seems to care they're headed for destruction. As they embark on a tour that takes them across the country to the office of the president (Meryl Streep), and a morning show run by upbeat hosts (Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry), the two must do whatever it takes to get the world to look up. 

The film was written and directed by Oscar winner Adam McKay (The Big Short, Vice).

"Adam has an unparalleled ability to spark conversation with humor and timely stories," DiCaprio tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "I knew when I read his script that it was incredibly unique, as it struck an important chord concerning the modern world we live in. Adam has woven an incredibly timely message about society, how we communicate, our current priorities, and the climate crisis into an absurdly funny yet important movie."

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The film also stars Jonah Hill, Rob Morgan, Ron Perlman, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi), Himesh Patel, Mark Rylance Melanie Lynskey, Michael Chiklis and Tomer Sisley. 

Don't Look Up begins streaming on Netflix on Dec. 10.