Netflix continues to fork it out on feature projects with big-name casts.
Following news of Netflix’s planned $US200 million-plus movie with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, comes word that the streamer has made a seven-figure deal for a book adaptation starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. The package is Leave the World Behind, an adaptation of an upcoming novel by author Rumaan Alam. A number of studios were in the mix, with Netflix, Apple and MGM becoming the top three battling before Netflix took it out.
Set to direct the film and write the adaptation is Sam Esmail, known for creating and directing Rami Malek-starring series Mr. Robot, as well as co-creating and directing anthology series Homecoming, the first season of which starred Roberts. This will mark Esmail’s sophomore feature as both writer and director; he previously wrote and directed 2014 romantic dramedy Comet.
It’s an enticing apocalyptic-sounding plot – and one with a number of very timely themes. As reported by Deadline, the outlet that broke the news:
Amanda and Clay’s aspirational vacation with their teenage children is interrupted by the arrival of a middle aged couple who own the holiday home and who have fled an unprecedented blackout in the city. When the internet, television and radio stop working, as does the landline, they have no way of finding out what is happening. As strange sonic booms shatter the peace of the countryside, and animals start to migrate in strange ways, the physical and mental health of the families begins to disintegrate. The renters are upscale and White [Robert plays the mother]; the owners are upscale and Black [Washington is the home owner]. The issues of race and clash become distractions to the more alarming things are happening all around them.
Washington and Robert previously starred together in 1993 legal thriller The Pelican Brief, an adaptation of the John Grisham novel of the same name.