Culture / Film

Mahershala Ali leads us into the apocalypse in the film adaptation of ‘Leave the World Behind’

Netflix is sending another cult novel through its' book-to-feature-film pipeline. Of course we'll never refuse a literary adaptation, especially when that casting looks as promising as this one. But what novel has caught the eye of the streaming giant? It's Rumaan Alam's best seller Leave the World Behind. 

Published by HarperCollins in October last year, Leave the World Behind has already collected a string of accolades. For one, it was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Awards, as well as being hailed as 'Best Book of the Year' by publications like The Washington Post, NPR and Time. Also, the novel was listed on Barack Obama's Summer Favourites - which is how you know it's good.

But why is the casting so compelling? Well, yesterday it was announced that two time Oscar-winner, Mahershala Ali from Moonlight and Swan Song will be joining Julia Roberts in the films' lead roles. Originally, Denzel Washington was set to play Ali's character but we can't say we're mad about the updated casting. Helming the project is Sam Esmail who brought us Mr. Robot. While Alam will oversee the film as executive producer.

For those among us who haven't yet read Leave the World Behind here's a run down of what to expect from the film plot-wise. Amanda and Clay, the stories protagonists, are vacationing with their teenage children when they're disrupted by the arrival of the owners of the holiday home they're stationed at; after an unprecedented blackout in the city forced the middle-aged couple to flee to the country. From this point the storyline heads south as strange apocalyptic-type incidents begin to occur; animals migrate in odd patterns, the landline, electricity and internet are shut off, and an unnerving sonic boom shatters the peace of the countryside. What happens next? You'll have to tune in to find out. But expect dialogue about race, parenthood and class emerge as the two families are thrusted together.

Seeing as the cast has only just been announced we are yet to hear of an official production start date. But for those gearing up to immerse themselves in this Netflix thriller, watch this space as we'll be sure to clue you in with any updates like a release date and trailer.

As for more book adaptations; we are weak at the knees at the prospect of Naoise Dolan's book Exciting Times being turned into a series featuring Phoebe Dynevor. How did we get so lucky?

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