Netflix Movie From Mr. Robot Creator Will Star Mahershala Ali And Julia Roberts

According to Deadline, Mahershala Ali is on board for a highly anticipated Netflix thriller titled "Leave the World Behind." The Oscar winner will join forces with fellow Academy Award winner Julia Roberts to bring author Rumaan Alam's novel of the same name to the screen. "Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail will serve as both writer and director of the film adaptation. Previously, it was reported that Denzel Washington was going to play the lead opposite Roberts. However, Ali has usurped the role moving forward.

Deadline describes "Leave the World Behind" as "a story about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Suspenseful and provocative, Alam's third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. It explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis." 

This description alone sounds stressful. Maybe it's my general anxiety but this kind of description makes me think of the film as a mix between "The White Lotus" and "The Happening." I'm probably way off base here, though. However, Alam's themes of parenthood, race, and class should make for an interesting and multi-layered story, especially with the hints of dystopian horror involved from the book reviews I've scanned on Goodreads. Alam's novel was first published in October 2020 and quickly became a finalist for the 2020 National Book Awards. It was also listed as one of Barack Obama's Summer Favorites and was named A Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Time, Esquire and Elle.

It's the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine

I'm pretty sure that I would be completely fine if I was shut off from the world with only Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali to hang out with day in and day out. Both are powerhouse performers and can convey a multitude of emotions within the characters they play. While he is mainly praised for his work in "Moonlight" and "Green Book," I favor Ali's performance in "True Detective" season 3. The way that his character is captured throughout time and how he ages while struggling with dementia is both heartbreaking and endearing. His character foil with his partner played by Stephen Dorff was also perfectly executed. And as much as Julia Roberts is America's sweetheart, I enjoy seeing her more profane or atypical performances like when she portrayed Erin Brockovich. It's easy to assume that Roberts will play some sort of pretentious white savior Karen type in this upcoming film but I hope both actors surprise us. 

The fact that Sam Esmail is the writer and director of this new film is also really exciting to me. If you haven't seen "Mr.Robot," I highly suggest watching it. The series is an entertaining look into how social anxiety and hacker culture is depicted on screen. It's reminiscent of "Fight Club," "American Psycho," and "V for Vendetta." With Esmail's eye and voice, I think this film will be able to successfully surface all the unpleasantries that society tries to hide. He seems to be keen on knocking down that shaky facade and revealing a dark underbelly that force audiences to question not only their own reality but their existence in relation to their environment as well. 

"Leave the World Behind" has no production information or release date just yet. So, there's plenty of time to check out Alam's novel or revisit "Mr. Robot" in the meantime.