Warning: This article contains major The Bubble spoilers. (Obviously!)
In his new satire comedy The Bubble, director Judd Apatow takes a stab at what he imagines a set like, say, Jurassic World Dominion was like during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s not pretty.
The Bubble began streaming on Netflix today and features an ensemble cast of very funny people, including Karen Gillan, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bakalova, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, Pedro Pascal, Guz Khan, and Peter Serafinowicz. As you might expect, there are a lot of shots fired, both at how ridiculous actors can be, but also at how terribly they can be treated by studios.
There are quite a few gags, and some work better than others. But amid all the laughs, you might get a tad lost when it comes to The Bubble plot. Don’t worry—Decider is here to help. Read on for The Bubble plot summary, The Bubble ending explained, and The Bubble post-credits scene.
WHAT IS JUDD APATOW’S NEW MOVIE ABOUT? THE BUBBLE PLOT SUMMARY:
The Bubble is a satire that follows a cast of Hollywood actors who are in production on a fictional blockbuster franchise, Cliff Beasts 6, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A vaccine is not yet available, and the world has not yet re-opened, but because there is a lot of money at stake, the beasts must go on. Don’t worry, though, because the cast is going to “bubble” at a remote hotel during production. They will quarantine first, and they totally promise to adhere to social distancing protocol on set. Nothing could possibly go wrong.
Obviously, a lot of things go wrong. The protagonist is actress Carol Cobb (Karen Gillan), who skipped the last Cliff Beasts movie, and is on shaky ground with her fellow castmates. Then there is Dustin Mulray (David Duchovny) and Lauren Van Chance (Leslie Mann), the on-again, off-again married celebrities with an adopted son who hates them; Dieter Bravo (Pedro Pascal) the self-serious artist actor; Sean Knox (Keegan-Michael Key) the action star in a cult; Krystal Kris (Iris Apatow) the Tik Tok star; Howie Frangopolous (Guz Khan), the funny guy with anger issues; and Darren Eigan (Fred Armisen), the hack director.
The entire cast and crew are put up at a huge hotel, where they are monitored by health officers (Harry Trevaldwyn and Samson Kayo). Almost immediately, things start going wrong. An assistant tests positive, and the entire production is forced to shut down and go into quarantine—again—and after that, people start to lose it.
Carol is dumped by her boyfriend and starts sleeping with a soccer player staying in the hotel. Howie Frangopolous snaps doing mindful meditation and escapes on foot. Dieter Bravo is driven to hallucinations by the flirtatious but intense hotel clerk (Maria Bakalova). Everybody gets the flu, but since it’s not COVID, they’re asked to come to set anyhow, and all vomit on each other while suspended on a wire in front of a green screen. Lauren Van Chance tries to run away, but she is shot in the hand by the super scary security guard who was brought on after Howie’s escape. It is, to put it lightly, a mess.
At this point, everyone is begging the producer Gavin (Peter Serafinowicz) to shut down the movie. Gavin tells them they have to finish the movie, and then asks his boss, the head of the studio Paula (Kate McKinnon), if they can shut down. Paula tells Gavin he has to finish the movie, and she then asks her boss, the studio chairman Tom (John Lithgow), if they can shut down. The studio chairman Tom tells Paula she has to finish the movie, and then asks his boss, the executive chairman Li (Austin Ku), if they can shut down. Of course, he’s told no. So they have to finish the movie. (This is possibly the movie’s funniest gag.)
WHAT IS THE BUBBLE ENDING EXPLAINED? THE BUBBLE SPOILERS:
After several more shenanigans—including a disastrous ET interview announcing that Cliff Beasts 7 will be filmed on the same production as Cliff Beasts 6, and a night of cocaine that leads to Dieter nearly overdosing—the entire cast makes a break for it. Another tiresome celebrity cameo later, the remaining Cliff Beasts cast members manage to escape on the helicopter, even though Sean Knox only ever learned to go up and down.
After they fly off into the sunset, the movie cuts ahead to “two years later,” when the cast is on the red carpet for the premiere of the behind-the-scenes documentary, Beasts of the Bubble, made by the man who was filming BTS footage during the entire production. It’s a Netflix-style tell-all documentary, but of course, now everyone pretends they were in on the joke, even though they all look ridiculous. As the credits begin to roll, we learn that Lauren got a metal hand, that Sean went to “two-day rehab” for cocaine addiction, that director Darren Eigan is doing the Skittles movie next, that Dieter is dating the hotel clerk and also his Peloton instructor (Daisy Ridley), and that Dustin’s son still hates him.
For the movie’s final joke, the health official Gunther admits he never sent the swabs from the casts’ COVID tests to be analyzed, meaning that the entire “bubble” procedure was entirely pointless.
IS THERE A THE BUBBLE POST-CREDITS SCENE?
Of course. Apatow couldn’t resist! There are actually two The Bubble after-credits scenes. The first is a mid-credits scene that directly follows the “The End” title card, and it features director Darren Eigan (Fred Armisen) and the producers watching their cast fly off with a helicopter. When Eigan wonders if they have enough footage to put together a cut, producer Gavin replies that they didn’t get the opening, but, “maybe that doesn’t matter, as long as the ending’s strong.”
“Yeah,” agrees another producer, Pippa (Danielle Vitalis), “The rest of the movie can be shit, as long as the ending’s good, because that’s what they’ll remember” Wait a minute—this is the end of this movie. Wink!
Eigan concludes it was noble of them to try to make a movie, at least. “We made something that’s a distraction in these difficult times.”
That’s the first post-credits scene. The second Bubble post-credits scene comes at the very end of the credits, and it’s simply a shot of Armisen in his plastic face shield, complaining, “It’s really hard to direct in these things!”
And with that, the movie finally ends. Phew. Who’s ready to watch the new Jurassic Park movie?