Mahershala Ali and Julia Roberts Face the Unthinkable in “Leave the World Behind” Trailer
In the official trailer for writer/director Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind, we open on a married couple in disparate moments of readiness. At the foot of the bed, packing a bag, is Amanda Sanford (Julia Roberts), informing her husband Clay (Ethan Hawke), lying prone under the covers, that she’s gone ahead and booked them a beautiful house by the beach and is prepping their suitcases so that he’s left with little reason to say no to the trip. Amanda’s thought of just about everything save for the fact that their trip is fated for disaster. Esmail’s film is adapted from Rumaan Alam’s sizzling 2020 novel centered on two families facing the prospect of complete societal collapse while sequestered together in a house in the Hamptons. For Amanda, Clay, and their two kids, however, their Hamptons getaway sounds like the ideal way to unwind.
Things start to go pear-shaped in the most mundane of ways—no signal on the TV, the Wi-Fi’s not working—but then a knock at the door in the middle of the night really starts to unsettle the Sanfords. Enter two strangers—G.H. (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la)—who come bearing bad news. There’s been a cyberattack, and they’ve arrived seeking refuge. And before the Standfords can balk at the likelihood of any of this being real, G.H. reveals that he actually owns the house, a fact that Amanda is a little too eager to find suspicious.
Leave the World Behind is both a techno-thriller and a tale of the ties of humanity that should bind us together but often fray when we need them most. It’s a potent conceit, as it was when Alam’s novel dropped in the middle of the pandemic, and its story about very personal, family-to-family level upheaval while society falls apart just outside the front door felt all too resonant. With Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail helming the adaptation and the sensational cast (which includes Kevin Bacon has a small but important role), you couldn’t ask for a better collection of talents to tell a more harrowing tale.
Check out the trailer below. Leave the World Behind hits select theaters on November 22 and streams on Netflix on December 8:
Here’s the official synopsis from Netflix:
In this apocalyptic thriller from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), Amanda (Academy Award winner Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke), rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their vacation is soon upended when two strangers — G.H. (Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs. The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world. Based on the National Book Award-nominated novel by Rumaan Alam, LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND is produced by Esmail Corp, Red Om Films, and executive produced by Higher Ground Productions.
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Featured image: LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND (2023) Myha’la as Ruth, Mahershala Ali as G.H., Ethan Hawke as Clay and Julia Roberts as Amanda. CR: JoJo Whilden/NETFLIX