Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali Face the End of the World in Teaser for Netflix Film Based on Bestselling Book

The movie hits Netflix on December 8

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Still from 'Leave the World Behind.'
Jojo Whilden/Netflix

We may be a little tired of the doomsday content (and it may still be hitting a little too close to home), but we couldn't look away from the first trailer for the new Netflix thriller Leave the World Behind. Based on Rumaan Alam’s bestselling and National Book Award-nominated novel of the same name, this tense drama includes a star-studded cast led by Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke and Myha'la Herrold. Check out the first teaser below.

As you can see, it all begins when Amanda (Roberts) and Clay (Hawke) take their kids out to an AirBnb for a weekend getaway, trying to escape the hustle of the Big Apple. However, their plans go awry when another couple, G.H. (Ali) and Ruth (Herrold), arrive in the middle of the night, claiming that it's their home and they need to wait out a city-wide blackout there.

While Amanda and Clay seem suspicious at first, a series of strange events (from red swarms in the sky to mysteriously cracking window panes) begin to suggest that the world as they know it is coming to an end.

“There is no going back to normal,” G.H. says to a tear-stricken Amanda in the clip.

roberts hero

The film was written and directed by Sam Esmail, who created the hit USA series Mr. Robot. In addition to its four leads, Leave the World Behind also stars Farrah Mackenzie (Utopia), Charlie Evans (Everything’s Gonna Be Okay) and Kevin Bacon (Apollo 13).

Its published source material was a hit among literary critics, receiving “generally positive reviews,” according to the aggregator site BookMarks. Alam’s book was a finalist in 2020 for the National Book Award for Fiction (losing to Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu).

Still from 'Leave the World Behind.'

We officially have chills. Leave the World Behind hits a limited number of theaters on November 22, before arriving to Netflix on December 8.

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Joel Calfee

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...
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