Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts have signed on to star in the family drama “Leave the World Behind,” based on the upcoming Rumaan Alam novel.
Netflix has landed feature film rights to the novel, and the deal is believed to be a blockbuster payday for the two A-list stars. Sam Esmail, whose credits include “Mr. Robot” and “Homecoming” (on which he worked with Roberts), is attached to direct from his own adapted script.
“Leave the World Behind” is a story about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Roberts will play the mother of the family that rents a house and Washington will portray the homeowner.
The story explores the complexities of parenthood, race, and class — along with how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis. “Leave the World Behind” will be published by Ecco this October.
Washington and Roberts previously collaborated on the 1993 legal thriller “The Pelican Brief,” directed by Alan J. Pakula from his adaptation of the John Grisham novel.
Washington is producing along with Roberts through her Red Om Films banner and Esmail and Chad Hamilton through Esmail Corp. Alam is an executive producer. Red Om’s Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill will also be involved in a producorial capacity.
Washington is also producing Netflix’s upcoming “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” He is represented by WME and Hansen Jacobson. Roberts is represented by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman. Esmail is represented by CAA and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Alam is represented by CAA and Julia Barer at The Book Group. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
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