Netflix has acquired yet another star-studded adaptation. The streaming service has prevailed in a bidding war for “Leave the World Behind,” an upcoming feature film that will star Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington and be directed by Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”).
Deadline reported there were 10 offers on the project, which is an adaptation of author Rumaan Alam’s upcoming novel, which came down to Netflix, Apple, and MGM. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but Deadline noted that the book portion of the deal was in the seven-figure range and could compare with the $120 million that Apple paid for the “Emancipation” runaway slave drama. Sources close to the project confirmed the project with IndieWire but did not elaborate on the financial terms.
The streaming service’s upcoming “Leave the World Behind” adaptation will serve as a reunion for Roberts with Esmail and Washington, who’ve worked with the Oscar winner separately prior to this collaboration. Esmail and Roberts produced Amazon Prime Video’s “Homecoming” — with the actress starring and the “Mr. Robot” helmer directing the first season — which garnered critical praise. As for Roberts and Washington, the duo previously worked together on the 1993 film “The Pelican Brief.”
Alam’s novel, which is slated to release on October 6, will center on a couple who rent a luxurious rural home away from New York City for a week, only to be disrupted by an older couple who claim ownership of the house while a sudden blackout kills all TV, internet, and phone services. The novel will follow the two families as they figure out if they can trust the other and will center on themes of parenthood, class, and race.
Roberts will serve as a producer via her Red Om Films company, while Washington, Esmail, and Chad Hamilton will produce via Esmail Corp. Alam will serve as executive producer, while additional producers include Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. Roberts will play the mother of the family who owns the house while Washington will play the homeowner. Additional stars and a prospective release date are under wraps.
“Leave the World Behind” is the latest in a string of high-profile projects for Esmail, whose “Mr. Robot” drama wrapped up its fourth and final season to considerable acclaim last year. Esmail also executive produced USA Network’s recently-canceled “Briarpatch,” which starred Rosario Dawson.