Sam Esmail’s newest film, ‘Leave the World Behind’, will probe the depths to which people would go in order to maintain their own existence. The film, based on Rumaan Alam’s book 2020, stars Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, and Mahershala Ali, and is set in a dystopian future. As the release date draws closer, additional photographs are being released that reveal more of the drama.
Vanity Fair has released brand-new images from the psychological thriller, and they are both tense and ominous. Roberts may be seen sobbing her eyes out in the woods in one scene. Another shot of note is Roberts and Hawke, who play a couple renting a cottage in the woods, standing on the door, while Myha’la Herrold, who portrays the owner’s small daughter, and Ali pose across from them. Ali walks on the beach among the debris of downed aircraft. In another photograph from the beach, the suspicious cargo tanker in the water is the first hint that something is awry.
Let ‘Leave the World Behind’ Surprise You in Ways You Never Thought Possible
In contrast to the usual fare of films about catastrophic events, Esmail chose to concentrate on the people involved. As Esmail puts it, “The focus—the priority of the storytelling—is on the set pieces,” which is why the filmmaker enjoys making catastrophe movies so much. He said, “It’s on the spectacle of whatever the disaster might be for that story, and the characters were secondary to that.” Rather than actively participating, their role is primarily as the “audience avatar.” For his future film, however, he knew he had to put the spotlight on the actors by saying, “The spectacle of the disaster is secondary and off in the distance.”
He adds, “You don’t know the culmination; you don’t know where this goes. Even when the credits roll, the question “Where do we go from here?” remains unanswered. The suspenseful premise and character-focused plot of Leave the World Behind make it seem like a captivating film. The cast also includes George “G.H.” Washington (played by Ali), Clay (played by Hawke), Ruth (played by Herrold), Rosie (played by Farrah Mackenzie), Archie (played by Charlie Evans), and Danny (played by Kevin Bacon).