Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts in The Files (1993) © Warner Bros. Pictures
Almost 30 years after they first worked on the John Grisham film adaptation The file, become Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts, who are now among the biggest superstars in Hollywood, come together again in front of the cameras. You will be in the explosive, thematically highly topical thriller Leave the world behind play the main roles. Netflix has put down a seven-figure sum for the film rights to the as yet unpublished novel by Rumaan Alan. MGM and Apple are also said to have fought hard for rights. No wonder, because it has two stars like Roberts and Washington as well as a really contemporary premise Netflix now a sure crowd puller in the program.
The novel, which will be published in the fall, is about Amanda and Clay who rent a house in the country with their teenage children to escape the big city. Their vacation, however, is disrupted by the surprise arrival of the homeowner’s family, fleeing an unprecedented power outage in New York. The internet, television, radio, wireless and landline networks all cease to work, leaving everyone in the dark about what is going on in the world. When strange popping noises shake the countryside and animals begin to behave in unusual ways, the mental and physical well-being of both families begins to crumble. The crux of the story: both families come from the upper class, but the tenants are white and the homeowners are black. Race and class issues become distractions for families as the events around them become more and more worrying.
Roberts will play the mother of the white family, Washington the homeowner. Further roles have not yet been filled.
Just after typing this table of contents, I get the most interest to read the novel as soon as it is published. I can understand why several studios and streamers showed such great interest, especially with stars like Roberts and Washington in certainly challenging roles. Both actors have wanted to work together again for a long time and will also produce the film. Directed by Sam Esmail, the creator of “Mr. Robot”, who is the first season of Amazon-Series “Homecoming” staged with Roberts.
When the film will be shot has not yet been determined.