Moonlight star Mahershala Ali will star opposite Julia Roberts in the Netflix family drama Leave The World Behind. The movie is an adaption of Rumaan Alam’s novel of the same name and will be directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail.
Hollywood veteran Denzel Washington was earlier in talks for one of the lead roles in the movie, which was first announced back in July 2020, but now Ali will play that part, reported Deadline. However, the film will be produced by Roberts under her Red Om Films banner and Esmail and Chad Hamilton through Esmail Corp. Alam will be the executive producer. Red Om’s Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill also be involved in a producing team. A production start date is still not decided at this time.
Leave The World Behind is based on Alam’s novel. It is a story about two families, who are strangers to each other. They are forced together to spend a long weekend that terribly goes wrong. Suspenseful and provocative, Alam’s third novel follows the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. It explores how the closest bonds are reshaped and unexpected new ones turn out in moments of crisis.
The novel was published last year in October 2020 and was nominated for the 2020 National Book Awards. This book was also listed as one of Barack Obama’s Summer Favorites and was A Read with Jenna Today Show Pick. It has been also named The Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Time, Esquire, and Elle among others.
Mahershala Ali has won two Oscars for his performances in Moonlight and Green Book. He is an actor and a producer as well. He has recently announced the date of his Apple Studios film Swan Song, in which he is starring and producing as well. The film is slated to release on December 17, and Apple sees this as an awards player this season. He will also soon star as the titular character in Marvel’s Blade, which just landed a director in rising star Bassam Tariq. Ali recently received an Emmy nomination for his supporting role in the Hulu series Ramy. He has also produced the HBO documentary We Are the Dream, which recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program.