Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, two of the biggest Hollywood stars of the past four decades, are about to work together again for the first time in nearly thirty years.
Roberts and Washington are set to star in Leave the World Behind, a new Netflix movie that will be written and directed by Mr. Robot‘s Sam Esmail. Get the details below.
In 1993, Roberts and Washington co-starred in The Pelican Brief, an adaptation of the popular John Grisham legal thriller. Now, almost 30 years later, the actors are once again set to team up to appear in an adaptation of a different novel. Deadline reports that they’ll both star in Leave the World Behind, which is based on the forthcoming book by author Rumaan Alam which hits shelves this fall. Here’s the book’s synopsis (via Amazon):
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 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.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
Suspenseful and provocative, Rumaan Alam’s third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis.
The renters of the vacation home are White, and the owners are Black. Roberts will play Amanda, the mother of the family that rents the home, while Washington will play G.H., the male homeowner. I have to imagine the roles of their respective partners are among the most coveted parts in Hollywood right now, and I can’t wait to see who ends up getting cast alongside these two cinematic titans.
Netflix beat out companies like MGM and Apple for the global rights to this project. Apparently there were some bids on the table for Esmail to adapt the book into a television series instead of a movie, but he and the producers ultimately opted to go the movie route.
This will be Roberts’ second time working with Esmail: he created and directed the Amazon series Homecoming, and she starred in the first season. Roberts, Washington, and Esmail will all produce Leave the World Behind. With its star power in front of the camera, dynamic filmmaker behind it, and subject matter that should resonate well in this specific moment in history, this movie could be a very big deal for Netflix.
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