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Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington Reunite to Star in Netflix Thriller ‘Leave the World Behind’

Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington Reunite to Star in Netflix Thriller ‘Leave the World Behind’

  • Netflix wins the adaptation rights to the satirical thriller 'Leave the World Behind' by Rumaan Alam starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.

Rumaan Alam’s upcoming novel Leave the World Behind incited a fierce bidding war for the global rights on the adaptation starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. Netflix prevailed over top streamers and major studios on the star-cast package directed by Mr Robot’s Sam Esmail.

Leave the World Behind arrives precisely for these strange times, where the suspenseful and provocative novel tests complex themes of parenthood, race, and class.

The novel follows Amanda and Clay, a privileged White couple who seek quality time with their teenage children and a quiet reprieve from life in New York City for a week out in a luxurious home in a remote corner of Long Island. The couple are met by the owners of the rental one late-night, an older upscale Black couple by the names of Ruth and G.H., who arrive in a panic due to a sudden blackout that swept the city. There is no way of knowing what is happening as the internet, cell phone service and television are down in the countryside. The two families, strangers to each other, are forced to live together and question if they can trust each other and how safe they are within the borders of the rural home.

The adaptation of the witty and incisive novel will be written by Esmail, and will see Roberts and Washington reunite for the first time since The Pelican Brief in 1993. Roberts will play Amanda, and Washington will play the homeowner G.H.

Leave the World Behind will be published on October 6 by HarperCollins publishing imprint Ecco.

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Alam will serve as the executive producer of the Netflix thriller. Esmail, Esmail Corp. and his producing partner Chad Hamilton will produce, alongside Washington, and Roberts under her Red Om Films banner.

Alam is repped by CAA and Julia Barer at The Book Group; Roberts is repped by CAA with Hirsch Wallerstein; Washington is repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson; and Esmail is repped by CAA and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.

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