Is the movie 'Leave the world behind' based on a possible reality?

by Polly in Hot Topics

March 22, 2024

5 minutes to read

'Leave the World Behind' is a 2023 apocalyptic psychological thriller written and directed by Sam Esmail. This movie is a hot topic and currently trending on screens across the globe. It is based on the 2020 novel written by Rumaan Alam.

The film starts in an attempt to make sense of the sequential rapid breakdown in phones, television and other technology, which points to a potential disaster.

Starting at the beginning

The premiere of 'Leave the World Behind' was at the AFI Fest on October 25, 2023. It was released in November before its streaming release by Netflix in December 2023.

As with every movie, it has good actors. Let's take a look at the cast:

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

Filming began in April 2022 in a home on Long Island designed by The Up Studio. Further filming took place in Katonah, New York, in May 2022.

If you have not yet watched the movie, you are missing out. The bidding war for the rights to the novel was won by Netflix in July 2020, with Sam Esmail tied to write and direct. Both Juli Roberts and Denzel Washington were set to star in and produce the film together.

The film topped the streaming charts and was number one on Netflix in December with 41,7 million views.

The involvement of Barack and Michelle Obama

The former president of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama executive produced the film through their Higher Ground Productions banner.

Barack Obama also included the novel on his summer reading list. Obama offered Esmail his thoughts on the screenplay during the writing process.

The novel is a psychological thriller that delves into the complicatedness of race, class and family dynamics, showcasing the chaos of a world on the brink of collapse. In the wealthy setting, a white family's vacation from a comfortable but not extravagant life in a simple home takes a surreal turn when the black homeowners suddenly arrive.

Esmail had the following to say about Obama, "He had a lot of notes about the characters and his empathy for them. He is a big movie lover, and all the notes weren't just from the book. They were from his background. He was giving notes as a book fan and wanted to see a good film".

A fitting soundtrack

When the time came to set the soundtrack for the film, Esmail tried to pick songs that had not been used on TV or film before.

The composer Mac Quayle composed an original for the film consisting of nine notes. It was French composer Olivier Messiaen and his Messiaen modes that inspired him.

Quayle said: "I started playing around with them, and I found that Mode 3, essentially a scale, was producing a really interesting harmonic feeling." Quayle continued, "I got this idea that I might do the entire film in this one mode. I didn't know if it would carry me through the entire film, but it did".

The movie or the book?

At the movie's start, the deer is an omen of bad luck, not just for the cast but for the whole of the United States. Some people saw the appearance as the explanation of deer's migration pattern due to natural disasters. On the other hand, others saw it as a bad omen, which aligns with the book.

The ending of the movie was also different than that of the book. While Rose put a Friends DVD in the player, it is not the series finale. The fact that Rose puts the episode on and doesn't watch because she heads back to George's house with supplies for the family is also different from the book.

There is confusion among viewers and readers, and we can understand the ending is not what we expected, but it still fits because the silence is disturbing.

Interestingly, "I can't do anything with my cellphone. I'm a useless man" is a line from the movie that left viewers smashed. It points to how many of us feel when separated from our use of technology in our modern-day lives.


Beyond the film's gripping plot, some discussions were sparked about predictive programming.

Predictive programming suggests that power entities use mass media to influence our minds and subtly prepare us for the future.

Is predictive programming just a conspiracy theory? Or is the government trying to tell us something? Some conspiracy theorists say that this film will likely be a prediction because of Obama's involvement in the movie.

The Simpsons are masters of prediction - again

The Simpsons is an excellent example of predictive programming because it can predict real-world events. Here are some of their predictions:

  • In the Simpsons episode "Homer Goes to Prep School", Homer joins an end-of-the-world survivalist group, and according to the show, the end of the world could be on September 24.
  • The Simpsons predicted a black hole in a Treehouse of Horror episode. The black hole caused chaos on Earth, even though the closest black hole is 1560 light-years away.
  • Our real-life experiences were predicted before they happened. Who still remembers COVID-19? The Simpsons predicted a pandemic.

Many of the predictions came true after being predicted by The Simpsons. Some years later, others may still happen, or rather, it is possible.

To sum up

The movie explores how people from different backgrounds come together when the need arises. It triggers the thinking process of viewers, looking at human nature and the structure of society when faced with difficulty.

With a talented cast, 'Leave The World Behind' delivered a compelling cinematic experience. The real question is: What will you do when faced with such an exponential threat?

Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

Anything incorrect or missing?

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