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What Is Netflix’s ‘Leave The World Behind’ Based On?

Netflix has been doing better lately, which is good news because they’re still shelling out big bucks for movies that don’t get wide theatrical releases. One of them is Leave the World Behind, a timely apocalyptic thriller starring Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, and Mahershala Ali. Perhaps the title sounds familiar. If it does that’s because it’s based on a novel about societal breakdown that dropped at the height of the pandemic.

Released in early October 2020, the book of the same name was written by Rumaan Alam. Like the movie, it concerns an affluent white Brooklyn couple crashing at a swanky Long Island Airbnb. Then the house’s Black owners show up, prompting some racial tension on the part of the liberal guilt-plauged white protagonists. Then it’s revealed that there’s some end-of-world transpirings afoot.

There is at least one major difference between the book and movie. In Alam’s source, the house’s owners are an older couple. In the film, the man, played by two-time Oscar-winner Ali, is around the same age as Roberts and Hawke’s marrieds. Instead of Ali’s character being joined by his wife, he’s with his daughter, played by Industry’s Myha’la.

Leave the World Behind — which on top of being a timely doomsday entertainment also comes from the Obamas-founded production company Higher Ground — hits Netflix’s coffers on November 22. You can watch the trailer above.