Mahershala Ali has signed on to star alongside Hollywood icon Julia Roberts in Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail’s thriller, Leave The World Behind. Roberts and Esmail are producing the film for Netflix. Based on Rumaan Alam’s acclaimed 2020 novel of the same name, Leave the World Behind tackles issues surrounding race, parenthood, and paranoia. Before Mahershala Ali came on board, Denzel Washington was eying the role, but he had to drop out due to undisclosed reasons. With Leave The World Behind currently being in the scripting stage, not much is known about the film’s plot, but you can check out the novel’s synopsis below.
“Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G.H. are an older black couple-it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area-with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service-it’s hard to know what to believe.”
That’s an intriguing premise, no doubt. Mahershala Ali is set to play G.H. while Julia Roberts will play Amanda. Other casting announcements will be made soon. Although Leave The World Behind doesn’t have a release date as of now, it is expected to begin production later this year. Ali will be heavily involved in his passion project, Blade, which begins filming in July 2022. And Leave The World Behind being a low-profile thriller shouldn’t take up too much time for either of the leads.
Leave The World Behind was published in October 2020 and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for fiction. The novel made it to many ” best books of the year” lists by the end of 2020. It was also among Barack Obama’s Summer Favorites. Moreover, interested parties were willing to shell out big bucks to bag the film adaptation rights to Leave The World Behind, even before the novel was published. After a hard-fought bidding war between major film studios and streaming services, it was Netflix who walked away with the rights.
Sam Esmail soon came on board to write and direct the film. He is also producing the film with Chad Hamilton through the Esmail Corp banner. Esmail is behind some unique and utterly thrilling TV shows like Mr. Robot and Homecoming. Esmail is currently involved in more than a dozen projects, but Leave The World Behind is expected to be his next directorial venture. As for Mahershala Ali, he will next be seen in Apple TV+ sci-fi Swan Song from Irish director Benjamin Cleary. The two-time Oscar winner will also be bringing fan-favorite antihero Blade to the MCU. Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) will direct Blade from a screenplay by Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Watchmen). Blade, alongside Fantastic Four, is part of Marvel’s Phase 5 slate, and both are likely to be released in 2024. This news comes to us from Deadline.