In the world of cinema, anticipation often builds around movies that offer both substance and star power. Netflix’s “Leave the World Behind” is one such film that has garnered attention for its compelling storyline and a stellar cast, including Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, and Myha’la Herrold. This article provides an overview of what we know so far about this psychological thriller.
“Leave the World Behind” is set to receive a limited theatrical release on November 22, 2023, strategically timed to qualify for the year’s Academy Awards. The film will subsequently have a wider release on Netflix on December 8, allowing a broader audience to experience its thought-provoking narrative.
Netflix has increasingly used limited theatrical releases to position some of its prestige films for critical acclaim. This strategy has proven successful for movies like “Fair Play,” “The Killer,” and “Maestro,” making “Leave the World Behind” a notable addition to the list.
Moreover, the film is scheduled to have its world premiere on October 25, 2023, serving as the opening night film of the 2023 AFI Fest, which further demonstrates the high expectations surrounding its release.
Exploring the Trailers
Trailers are a crucial part of the cinematic experience, offering viewers a glimpse into the world that a film creates. “Leave the World Behind” has provided two trailers that give us insight into the film’s tone and themes.
A teaser trailer was released on October 2, 2023, providing a 100-second preview of the tension between Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali’s characters, as well as the apocalyptic chaos that engulfs them. This teaser sets the stage for the film’s intriguing premise.
The official trailer, unveiled on October 24, 2023, features LCD Soundsystem’s “oh baby” and delves deeper into the lives of the two families at the center of the story. It explores their struggles to comprehend the end of the world and the collapse of civilization as they know it. These trailers offer a glimpse into the intense emotions and conflicts that will drive the narrative.
Meet the Cast
The cast of “Leave the World Behind” is a compelling ensemble, each actor bringing their unique talents to the forefront.
Julia Roberts takes on the role of Amanda, a character who undergoes significant personal growth in the face of adversity. Her portrayal of a modern woman grappling with her prejudices and weaknesses during a crisis adds depth to the film’s narrative.
Mahershala Ali plays George G.H. Washington, the wealthy black owner of the Long Island Airbnb, who unexpectedly interrupts the dream vacation of Amanda and Clay (played by Ethan Hawke) with news of a massive blackout. Ali’s portrayal adds complexity to the character, reflecting the helplessness that can arise in the face of a sudden catastrophe.
Ethan Hawke, known for his versatility, embodies Clay, a husband and father striving to protect his family during tumultuous times.
Myha’la Herrold portrays Ruth Washington, the daughter of George G.H. Washington, adapting her character from the novel to suit the film’s needs.
Additionally, Kevin Bacon, Farrah Mackenzie, and Charlie Evans round out the cast with their respective roles, contributing to the film’s rich character dynamics.
Unveiling the Plot
“Leave the World Behind” explores the complexities of human behavior in the midst of an apocalyptic crisis. The official synopsis provided by Netflix sets the stage for the film:
“A family’s (Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke) vacation is upended when two strangers (Mahershala Ali and Myha’la) arrive at night, seeking refuge from a cyberattack that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.”
This premise promises a thought-provoking exploration of human nature when faced with the unknown, examining themes of trust, survival, and societal breakdown.
The Creative Team
Behind the scenes, “Leave the World Behind” boasts a talented creative team. Sam Esmail, known for his work on “Mr. Robot,” directs the film and pens the screenplay, ensuring a compelling visual and narrative experience. Rumaan Alam, the author of the source novel, serves as an executive producer, maintaining the story’s integrity during its adaptation to the screen.
The film’s production team includes Julia Roberts, Chad Hamilton, Lisa Gillan, and Marisa Yeres Gill as producers, further solidifying its potential for success.
The movie’s production journey took place in various locations, adding authenticity to the storytelling. Filming for “Leave the World Behind” commenced in Long Island in April 2022 and extended to Katonah, New York, the following month.
This selection of locations aligns with the narrative’s setting and contributes to the film’s immersive atmosphere.
“Leave the World Behind” has generated significant buzz in the world of cinema, thanks to its intriguing plot and the star power of its cast. As the release date approaches, audiences eagerly await the opportunity to witness this thought-provoking exploration of human behavior in the face of an apocalyptic crisis.