Mahershala Ali is joining Julia Roberts in the thriller adaptation of Leave The World Behind for Netflix.
Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail on board to direct and adapt Rumaan Alam’s novel of the same name.
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.
Leave The World Behind explores the complexities of parenthood, race, and class — along with how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis.
News of Netflix landing this project was announced last year with Denzel Washington attached opposite Roberts. The project would’ve reunited Washington with Roberts, who starred in 1993’s The Pelican Brief. Washington was also attached to produce the film.
Roberts is producing 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.
The novel was published in October 2020 and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Awards, listed as one of Barack Obama’s Summer Favorites, and was A Read with Jenna Today Show Pick. It has been named A Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Time, Esquire and Elle among others.
Netflix won the rights to Leave the World Behind after a fierce bidding war with sources saying that the winning bid was over $100 million.
A production start date is still unknown at this time.