Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali are dealing with the potential end of the world in “Leave the World Behind,” an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Rumaan Alam from “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail.
In the trailer Roberts and Ethan Hawke are vacationing on Long Island when they are intercepted by a mysterious stranger (Ali in a role originally earmarked for Denzel Washington), who tells the couple of a mysterious blackout and his thoughts that this event is just the first in a series of catastrophes.
Kevin Bacon plays a potentially sinister local man, with Myha’la, Farrah Mackenzie and Charlie Evans in supporting roles. Not only is the set-up for the movie incredibly creepy but it feels real, especially given the recent weather events brought on by global warming (the flooding in New York most recently).
When Alam’s novel came out in 2020, Netflix won a bidding war for the rights, which was shortlisted for the 2020 National BookAward for Fiction. Esmail was part of the Netflix package, along with Washington and Roberts, who worked with Esmail on Amazon’s “Homecoming.”
Barack and Michelle Obama are executive producers, with their Higher Ground Productions one of the production companies behind the movie. Roberts, Lisa Gillan, Marisa Yeres Gill, Esmail, and Chad Hamilton are producing. Tonia Davis, Daniel M. Stillman, Nick Krishnamurthy, Rumaan Alam are executive producing alongside the Obamas.
Many of Esmail’s “Mr. Robot” cohorts, including cinematographer Tod Campbell, costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas, production designer Anastasia White and composer Mac Quayle are along for the “Leave the World Behind” experience.
“Leave the World Behind” will have its world premiere as part of the American Film Institute Festival on October 25. It will have a limited theatrical run starting on November 22 and will premiere on Netflix on December 8.