“A Long Island Family Vacation Turns Chaotic as Unforeseen Strangers Bring News of a Blackout. Amidst Escalating Danger, Both Families Must Make Life-or-Death Choices, Wrestling with Their Roles in a Collapsing World.”
Initial release: December 8, 2023
Director: Sam Esmail
Producers: Julia Roberts, Sam Esmail, Lisa Roberts Gillan, Chad Hamilton, Marisa Yeres Gill
Production companies: Esmail Corp., Higher Ground Productions, Red Om Films, Netflix Studios
Screenplay: Sam Esmail
Distributed by: Netflix
Leave the World Behind Trailer
Cast of Leave the World Behind
Academy Award-winning actress Julia Roberts takes on the complex role of Amanda, the lead character in Rumaan Alam’s apocalyptic novel “Leave The World Behind,” showcasing her talent for portraying a liberal, modern woman who confronts her own prejudices and weaknesses during a crisis. Roberts’ excitement for the project even led to the potential casting of Denzel Washington, her former co-star from “The Pelican Brief,” in the role of G.H., but unfortunately, it didn’t materialize. The anticipation of their reunion generated a fierce competition for the adaptation rights of Alam’s bestselling book.
Mahershala Ali, a two-time Academy Award winner known for his performance in “Moonlight,” portrays George G.H. Washington, the affluent black owner of the Long Island Airbnb. Alongside Myha’la Herrold from “Industry,” they disrupt the idyllic vacation of Amanda and Clay, played by Ethan Hawke, known for his surprising and diverse roles. Hawke’s character, as a husband and father, will face challenges in his attempts to protect his family.
Kevin Bacon, renowned for his reliable performances in films like “A Few Good Men,” portrays Danny, the capable and dependable contractor who built the Washingtons’ perfect house. G.H. considers Danny a close friend and relies on him for survival guidance during the apocalypse. The cast also includes Farrah Mackenzie from “Logan Lucky” as Rosie and Charlie Evans from “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” as Leonard.
Leave the World Behind Story
The official synopsis via Netflix reads:
“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.“
Crew of Leave the World Behind
Excitement builds as Netflix secures the highly anticipated December release of this apocalyptic film, backed by an impressive lineup of industry giants. Sam Esmail, the acclaimed director and screenwriter, leads the project while also adapting the script. Rumaan Alam, the author of the novel, assumes the role of executive producer. The production team includes notable figures such as Julia Roberts, Chad Hamilton, Lisa Gillan, and Marisa Yeres Gill as producers.
Netflix emerges triumphant in a fierce competition that involved Apple, MGM, and various other studios and streaming platforms, all vying for the rights to adapt the book even before its release. Garnering critical acclaim, the novel became a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award and received accolades from influential figures like Barack Obama, who listed it among his Summer Favorites. It was also recognized as one of the best books of 2020 by NPR, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The LA Times, and numerous other reputable sources.