Two time Academy Award winner and Blade himself (at least, soon) Mahershala Ali has signed on to join Julia Roberts in Leave The World Behind, a thriller in development for Netflix. Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail is directing the film, which is an adaptation of Rumaan Alam‘s novel of the same name.
The film is a story revolving around two families who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Alam’s novel has been praised for being keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class, as well as its exploration of how our closest bonds are reshaped in moments of crisis.
This sounds very interesting, and hopefully Esmail and his cast can bring Alam’s intriguing themes to the screen. It’s little surprise that Netflix outbid other streamers and studios for the hot package last July. Back then, Denzel Washington was circling the role opposite Roberts, but Ali has now secured it.
Roberts will also produce the film through her Red Om Films banner, while Alam will executive produce. Despite Roberts signing on over a year ago, there’s still no word on when production will begin, but hopefully the addition of Ali will get things moving.
Ali hasn’t actually been seen in a film since 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel, but he has some good stuff lined up. His Apple Studios film Swan Song, which he stars in and produces, arrives in December, while he’s gearing up to star in Marvel’s Blade, which recently announced that Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) will direct.