Deadline reports that Mahershala Ali will to star in Leave the World Behind, a Netflix thriller written and directed by Mr. Robot‘s Sam Esmail. Julia Roberts is also on board to star in the film and when we reported on the project last year, it was Denzel Washington who was expected to take on the other leading role, which is the role Ali has taken on.
Based on the novel by Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind examines the complexities of parenthood, race, and class as two families are forced together in the face of disaster. “Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week,” reads the novel’s synopsis. “But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.” Sounds tense, and with powerhouses like Mahershala Ali and Julia Roberts leading the project, we’re sure to be in for quite the ride down paranoia boulevard. It’s not known when production on Leave the World Behind will begin.
Mahershala Ali will next be seen starring alongside Naomie Harris, Awkwafina, Glenn Close, and Adam Beach in Swan Song. Ali plays a loving husband and father who is diagnosed with a terminal illness, but who faces a tough choice when he’s presented with a controversial alternative solution to replace himself with a carbon copy clone. Swan Song will be released on Apple TV+ on December 17, 2021. Of course, Mahershala Ali will also play Blade for Marvel Studios.