Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts are reuniting for the first time since 1993’s The Pelican Brief for Leave The World Behind thriller for Netflix.
The streaming giant won the rights to Rumaan Alam’s upcoming novel after a fierce bidding war with sources saying that the winning bid was over $100 million. The novel will be published this fall by HarperCollins imprint Ecco.
It follows a husband and wife as they head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation with their teenage son and daughter. When the owners of the rental return in a panic one night after they say a sudden blackout has swept through the city, the couple isn’t sure what to believe.
With the TV and internet down and no cell service, the two families are forced into a tense living situation. Roberts will play the mother of the family that rents a house and Washington will portray the homeowner.
The story explores the complexities of parenthood, race, and class — along with how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis.
Mr. Robot and Homecoming creator Sam Esmail will write and direct the adaptation. Esmail had a strong relationship with Roberts after working together on Homecoming. And Roberts, once piqued, sent the book to Washington.
Washington and Roberts previously collaborated on the 1993 legal thriller “The Pelican Brief,” directed by Alan J. Pakula from his adaptation of the John Grisham novel.
Washington is producing along with Roberts through her Red Om Films banner and Esmail and Chad Hamilton through Esmail Corp. Alam is an executive producer. Red Om’s Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill are involved in a producorial capacity.