Everything Goes Wrong in Star-Studded COVID Comedy

After a very meta tease earlier this week in the form of a trailer for a nonexistent movie, Netflix released the current trailer for Judd Apatow’s upcoming pandemic comedy, The Bubbleon Friday.

In case you missed it, we were all left scratching our heads on Wednesday when the streamer dropped a teaser for a Jurassic-Park-esque film with the obviously fake name Cliff Beasts 6. The clip turned out to be a precursor to the full trailer for Apatow’s The Bubblea satire about the doomed production of a blockbuster franchise film during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bubble stars Karen Gillan and Pedro Pascal as the leads in a dinosaur movie called–you guessed it–Cliff Beasts 6 (ridiculously subtitled The Battle for Everest: Memories of a Requiem). Leslie Mann, Apatow’s real-life wife, and David Duchovny play a divorced Hollywood couple starring together in the action film. Keegan-Michael Key and Iris Apatow also play Cliff Beasts actors. Iris is Apatow and Mann’s youngest daughter, and as a child, she was an adorable scene-stealer in several of her father’s films. All grown up now, she makes her return to acting in the wake of older sister Maude’s buzzed-about turn in Euphoria.

In the new trailer, just about everything that could go wrong while making a movie in the midst of a pandemic does, in fact, go wrong. A film exec played by Kate McKinnon sets the scene for chaos, Zooming in from a luxury Italian locale to say, “We are one of two movies in production right now. If we fail, the studio is going to go down.”

As the pandemic worsens, the cast and crew of Cliff Beasts 6 get stranded in the United Kingdom, where they’re filming, and attempt to navigate unfamiliar PPE gear and new safety protocols. In one hilariously relatable moment, Fred Armisen, who plays the Cliff Beasts director, attempts to receive the required COVID-19 nasal swab test, but keeps chickening out as the swab approaches his nostrils, swerving to avoid its uncomfortable probe.

Meanwhile, divorcees Mann and Duchovny are forced to quarantine together, a vomit-inducing flu breaks out on set, and as the sole Gen Z cast member, Apatow’s character drives the rest of the crew crazy with her TikTok obsession. (Sidenote: if Apatow’s Crystal does not do the “Renegade” dance with a dinosaur, this film cannot be considered a historically accurate representation of the pandemic.)

The ensemble cast is rounded out by Vir Das, Rob Delaney, Peter Serafinowicz, and Maria Bakalova in her first American film appearance after receiving an Oscar nomination for her breakout role in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

The idea of ​​a movie about the COVID-19 pandemic admittedly doesn’t immediately inspire laughs; you could argue that it’s too soon for a comedy like this. But with an acclaimed, decades-long career in comedy filmmaking under his belt, Apatow is well-positioned to take this kind of risk.

The Bubble Netflix hits on April 1.

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