Netflix has just landed a hotly-contested movie package. Leave the World Behind will reunite Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts, with Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) on board to direct. The movie will be based on the upcoming novel of the same name from author Rumaan Alam, which is set to be released in the fall. Months before it hits shelves, it has become the subject of a major Hollywood deal worth millions.
According to several reports, Leave the World Behind was being bid on by several streaming services and studios, with Apple and MGM also in the mix. Ultimately, Netflix came out on top. While specific financial figures were not disclosed, it is said the company will shell out more than $100 million, in the same ballpark as what Apple recently paid for Emancipation, a drama about a runaway slave starring Will Smith.
Netflix has not been shy about handing out rich deals for splashy packages. The streaming service recently cut a deal for the Russo Brothers to direct The Gray Man. The thriller, starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, is said to be the biggest commitment ever by Netflix for an original movie. This marks yet another major commitment in a matter of days.
Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts previously starred together in The Pelican Brief. The two have not worked together since, but have both gone on to become some of the biggest stars in the world. Sam Esmail previously worked with Roberts on the Amazon series Homecoming. In addition to their starring roles. Washington and Roberts will produce the movie as well. Chad Hamilton, Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill are also on board to produce.
Leave the World Behind centers on a couple, Amanda and Clay. THey head out to a remote corner of Long Island for a vacation. They are aiming to spend some quality time with their teenage son and daughter, as well as a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they've rented. However, an unexpected late-night visit from an older couple, Ruth and G. H., who own the house, changes everything. They arrive in a panic, bringing news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. In the rural area, with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service, it is difficult for them to know what to believe.
Sam Esmail previously directed 2014's Comet, in addition to episodes of Mr. Robot and Homecoming. Some of Julia Roberts' recent credits include Wonder and Ben Is Back. She is also on deck to star in Little Bee. Denzel Washington most recently starred in The Equilizer 2. He also has The Little Things in post-production and is set to star in Macbeth from Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers. There is no word yet on how soon Netflix hopes to get the movie in production, but much of that could depend on how things go for other movies that have resumed filming following the shutdown. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.