Leave the World Behind Release Date, Cast, Plot, and More for the Upcoming Psychological Thriller Film

Leave the World Behind release date, is an upcoming psychological thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam. The movie has generated buzz for its star-studded cast and timely exploration of race relations and family dynamics. Here’s everything we know so far about Leave the World Behind, including its release date, cast, plot, and more.

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Release Date

Leave the World Behind is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 7, 2023 in the United States. The film was originally slated for an October 2021 release, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The movie is being distributed by Netflix and produced by Atlas Entertainment and Washington Square Films. It will likely be released on the Netflix streaming platform shortly after its theatrical debut.


Leave the World Behind boasts an impressive ensemble cast led by A-listers Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali.

Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali will play the lead roles of Amanda and Clay, a white couple vacationing in a remote Long Island rental home. Ethan Hawke and Myha’la Herrold will play the homeowners, an interracial couple who arrive unexpectedly to the rental property.

Other cast members include:

  • Farrah Mackenzie as Rose, Amanda and Clay’s daughter
  • Charlie Evans as Archie, Amanda and Clay’s son
  • Kevin Bacon in an unnamed role

With its clash of two families from differing backgrounds, Leave the World Behind promises powerful performances centered around race relations and family bonds.

Leave the World Behind

Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la Herrold, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans, Kevin Bacon, Vanessa Aspillaga, Saif Mohsen, Josh Drennen, Erica Cho, Alexis Rae Forlenza
Release Date
8 December 2023
Director Sam Esmail


Leave the World Behind follows two families whose lives intersect under strange circumstances.

Amanda (Julia Roberts) and Clay (Mahershala Ali) head to a remote Long Island beach house for a vacation with their teenage children Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). Their idyllic getaway is interrupted when the homeowners, an older interracial couple played by Ethan Hawke and Myha’la Herrold, arrive in a panic saying a massive blackout has struck New York City.

With no cell service or wifi, the two families are forced together as they try to survive this mysterious event. Tensions rise as secrets come out and both families are challenged to confront their biases. Strange occurrences around the house further heighten the drama and suspense.

The thriller explores timely themes of race, privilege, parenting, and the fragility of civilization. The novel has been described as a modern-day parable exploring a contemporary “what if” scenario through an intimate character study. Fans are eager to see how this gripping story translates to the big screen.


No official trailer has been released yet for Leave the World Behind. Fans are eagerly awaiting the first footage from the film, especially given its starry cast.

Some first look images have been shared showing Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali on set. The photos depict the two lead actors looking troubled, hinting at the tense plot that awaits their characters.

As the release date nears, viewers can likely expect to see a trailer or teaser drop to build anticipation. The footage will offer the first real glimpse into the tense dynamic between the two families and the mysteries that unfold.

Director and Crew

Leave the World Behind is directed by Sam Esmail, best known as the creator behind the hit series Mr. Robot. This marks Esmail’s first major feature film.

The screenplay was adapted from Rumaan Alam’s novel by Esmail and author Alam.

Additional key production crew members include:

  • Cinematographer Marcell Rév (Euphoria)
  • Editor Rosanne Tan (Palm Springs)
  • Composer Isaac Jones (Mr. Robot)

Esmail’s distinct visual style in Mr. Robot has fans excited to see his approach to this thrilling story. The talented crew supporting his vision promise to deliver a film that is just as striking as the cryptic plot.

The Novel

Leave the World Behind is based on the critically-acclaimed novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam. Published in 2020, the book was hailed as a prescient work of fiction and featured prominently on best of the year lists.

The novel focuses intimately on two families – the white vacationing couple and the older interracial homeowners. Over the course of a tense night, their prejudices and fears are exposed in subtle yet powerful ways.

Alam’s book has been praised for offering insightful commentary on race, class, and family. It’s timely premise of a mysterious cataclysmic event disrupting society also proved disturbingly prescient following the real world upheaval caused by COVID-19.

Fans of the novel are eager to see how director Sam Esmail will translate the evocative character study to the screen. Capturing the nuanced conversations and quiet tensions between the families will be a challenge.

Why Fans Are Excited

Leave the World Behind unites two of today’s most dazzling movie stars with an acclaimed up-and-coming filmmaker. The pairing of Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali is guaranteed to deliver gripping drama centered around two families in crisis.

The premise offers a tantalizing “what if” scenario involving a mysteriously catastrophic event. How the two families react under pressure is sure to unveil some surprising truths.

Sam Esmail showed his skill at crafting dark, character-driven drama with Mr. Robot. Fans are enticed by the connected themes of technology, paranoia, and collapse of order that his style could bring to this apocalyptic thriller.

The film’s commentary on race relations and family also promise to resonate deeply for today’s audiences. Leave the World Behind seems primed to deliver a tense yet thought-provoking film experience.

The Bottom Line

With its A-list cast and eerily timely premise, Leave the World Behind shapes up to be one of the most exciting and socially relevant thrillers of 2023. Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali lead what is sure to be a gripping story examining family bonds and racial biases under extreme duress.

Sam Esmail’s distinct visual style and knack for ratcheting up mystery and tension makes him the perfect fit to adapt Rumaan Alam’s unsettling “what if” novel. The first trailer and footage from the film will offer key insights into how this nuanced story translates to film.

For film fans eager for a stylish and suspenseful thriller grounded in intimate character drama, Leave the World Behind emerges as one of the must-see films this coming December. It promises the right mix of Hollywood star power and pressing social commentary to make it a film that resonates long after leaving the theater.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Leave the World Behind being released?

Leave the World Behind is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 7, 2023 in the United States.

What is the movie based on?

Leave the World Behind is based on the 2020 novel of the same name by author Rumaan Alam.

Who is starring in the Leave the World Behind movie adaptation?

The lead cast includes Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la Herrold, Farrah Mackenzie, and Charlie Evans.

Who is directing Leave the World Behind?

The film is being directed by Sam Esmail, best known as the creator of the hit series Mr. Robot.

Where does Leave the World Behind take place?

The story follows two families vacationing in a remote beach house in Long Island who are impacted by a mysterious blackout hitting New York City.

What is the plot of Leave the World Behind?

The thriller focuses on the clashes and tensions that arise when two families from differing backgrounds are forced together under mysterious apocalyptic circumstances. It touches on themes of race, class, family bonds, and societal collapse.

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