What is Leave the World Behind based on?

Everything we know about Leave the World Behind starring Julia Roberts

Leave the World Behind Netflix Julia Roberts
(Image credit: Netflix)

If you're looking for something to watch when the kids are in bed, then you might be flicking through Netflix wondering what Leave the World Behind is based on.

Julia Roberts is back on screens but instead of starring in her usual romantic comedy films like Ticket to Paradise, the star is back for a family-based apocalyptic thriller that will leave you sat on the edge of your seat - and thinking about what you'd do in the face of a cyber attack when the world grinds to a halt. Much like viewers want to know what new movie The End We Start From is based on, the same is being asked of Leave the World Behind

Speaking about the new Netflix movie, director Sam Esmail explained to Netflix's Tudum, "I had been interested in doing a disaster movie for a while, and I specifically wanted to do one surrounding a cyber attack because I don't think a lot of people have a concrete idea of what that would look like or how detrimental it would be, not just in America, but globally."

"The impact of technology on society is something that I've always been fascinated by because I really do think it dramatically changed the way we interact and evolve as people."

As we look at how the families become part of its narrative...

What is Leave the World Behind based on?

Leave the World Behind is based on the National Book Award-nominated novel Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. It follows two families fighting for survival amid an inexplicable blackout where nothing is likely to go back to normal.

Any parent might think that a break in technology might solve your family problems, especially if you're constantly trying to get your kids to spend less time on their electronic devices. But when it's more than just the case of a temporary power cut or being unable to find your phone charger, these two families soon start to realise something isn't quite right.

The apocalyptic thriller is from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), Amanda (Academy Award winner Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke), rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie).

Their vacation is soon upended when two strangers, G.H. (Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la), arrive in the night, bearing news of a mysterious cyberattack and seeking refuge in the house they claim is theirs.

The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.

The author Rumaan Alam is the executive producer of the film alongside Barack and Michelle Obama, Tonia Davis, Daniel M. Stillman and Nick Krishnamurthy.

Who is in the cast of Leave the World Behind?

  • Julia Roberts as Amanda Sandford
  • Mahershala Ali as G.H. Scott
  • Ethan Hawke as Clay Sandford
  • Myha'la as Ruth Scott
  • Farrah Mackenzie as Rose Sandford
  • Charlie Evans as Archie Sandford
  • Kevin Bacon as Danny

Leave the World Behind Netflix film still

(Image credit: Netflix)

In other Entertainment news, if you're a fan of psychological thrillers you might wonder what Prime Video movie Foe is based on or the origins of Netflix's Fool Me Once. If you've been tuned in to Netflix's Bad Surgeon you might want to know where is Paolo Macchiarini now?

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)