Rumaan Alam’s 2020 critically-acclaimed disaster novel is being adapted into a Netflix original co-starring Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali.

Netflix is set to produce the upcoming film Leave The World Behind, based on Rumaan Alam’s critically acclaimed 2020 novel of the same name. The film will be directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, who’s also writing the screenplay. Netflix won the rights after a massive bidding war against other competing streaming services and MGM.

Leave The World Behind will be produced through Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films, as well as Esmail and Chad Hamilton through Esmail Corp. Also producing will be Red Om’s Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. Author Rumaan Alam will serve as the executive producer.


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The disaster novel topped the charts when released, being a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, and was even on former President Barack Obama’s Summer 2020 reading list. Here’s a breakdown of everything we know about Leave The World Behind thus far.

Leave The World Behind Possible Release Date

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Netflix has many new TV shows and films under their belt right now, ranging from thrillers to comedies. They are also well-known for adapting movies and shows from novels (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Queen’s Gambit – to name a few), so Leave The World Behind is no exception. The film is currently in the works, and there is no set release date as of late. With the cast and crew already working on the film, it is expected to be released on Netflix sometime between late 2022 and early 2023.

Leave The World Behind Cast

The cast for Leave The World Behind announced thus far is pretty exceptional. Aside from Julia Roberts’ production company working on the film, she will also be starring in it. Starring alongside Roberts in the Netflix thriller is Ethan Hawke and Mahershala Ali, who replaced Denzel Washington in September 2021. Playing Ali’s daughter is Myha’la Herrold, and Hawke will be portraying Robert’s wife and the father of their two kids. Other cast members that have been announced recently are the couple’s children, portrayed by Ryan Kiera Armstrong and Charlie Evans.

Leave The World Behind Plot Details

Leave The World Behind highlights how people change and how even our closest relationships can fall apart in a moment of crisis. The story is about young white idealistic couple Amanda (Roberts) and Clay (Hawke), who, along with their two children, 15-year-old Archie and 13-year-old Rosie (Armstrong & Evans), go on vacation to an Airbnb in Long Island. Their picture-perfect vacation is soon interrupted when the homeowners, George (Ali) and Ruth arrive, stating that there has been a blackout.

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The Netflix thriller soon gets dark. Everything in the world begins to shut down: the internet, radio, TV, and landline, and the couple have no choice but to believe George and Ruth. Strange things begin to happen around the countryside, including animals migrating, and a state of emergency is broadcasted. Soon, the family’s mental and physical health come to the forefront and the family – naïve, but kind-hearted – have to confront their own racism. With a star-studded cast and the writer on board, Leave The World Behind sounds like it is going to be a successful and powerful film.

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