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Higher Ground Boards Netflix’s ‘Leave the World Behind’

”Mr. Robot“ creator Sam Esmail will both write the adaptation and direct

Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, has joined Netflix’s “Leave the World Behind,” the film adaptation to the novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam, the company announced on Thursday.

Sam Esmail, the creator of “Mr. Robot,” will both write the adaptation and direct.

The film stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke and Myha’la Herrold.

The logline for the film is as follows: A family vacation on Long Island is interrupted by two strangers bearing news of a mysterious blackout. As the threat grows more imminent, both families must decide how best to survive the potential crisis, all while grappling with their own place in this collapsing world.

Producing are Sam Esmail and Chad Hamilton via their Esmail Corp, along with Julia Roberts, Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill producing through Red Om Films banner. Executive producers are Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis, Rumaan Alam, Esmail Corp’s Nick Krishnamurthy and Danny Stillman.

Since being published in October 2020, the novel has been A Read with Jenna Today Show Pick, a finalist for the 2020 National Book Awards, listed as one of Barack Obama’s Summer Favorites and named A Best Book of the Year from The Washington Post, NPR, Time, Esquire, Elle among others.

The project is the latest to arise from Higher Ground’s deal with Netflix, which has spawned a range of scripted, unscripted and documentary-style series currently in development, as well as feature-length narrative and documentary films like “American Factory” and “Crip Camp.”


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