DVD Release DateDirector of "Leave the World Behind" addresses Barack Obama's involvement amidst conspiracy...

Director of “Leave the World Behind” addresses Barack Obama’s involvement amidst conspiracy theories

  • Former President Barack Obama joined the project of “Leave the World Behind” a few months before shooting began and provided notes on the script.
  • As a movie lover and fan of the book, Obama focused on cinematically capturing the novel’s themes and messages and worked with his production company, Higher Ground Productions, to do so.
  • The film has received positive reviews and is a popular choice on Netflix, with a “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and over 41 million views.

Sam Esmail, director of the Netflix apocalyptic thriller “Leave the World Behind,” has addressed the involvement of former U.S. President Barack Obama in the film. Esmail stated that Obama joined the project after the script had been written, dispelling any conspiracy theories about the movie being a warning from him.

Esmail shared, “I think the silly thing about the whole thing is President Obama really came on a couple of months before we started shooting, so the script had basically been written and done. He obviously gave notes on the script, but the bones of the story and the sequences were already written. I would just say they’re pretty wrong in terms of his signaling. It had nothing to do with that.”

“Leave the World Behind” is based on Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel and follows two families as they try to survive a mysterious cyberattack. Esmail not only directed but also produced and wrote the adaptation. In an interview with Collider, he explained that Obama got involved because of his love for the book and movies. Barack and Michelle Obama served as executive producers for the film through their company, Higher Ground Productions.

“Because President Obama is such a movie lover, he really focused his notes on trying to cinematically portray what was in the book in a really interesting way. The book was on his reading list, it’s one of his favorites, and he really wanted to do justice by the book and this theme about mistrust and this being a cautionary tale about what could happen if we don’t have that community or bond that holds us together. So he really gave notes with regards to character, empathy, and also the disaster elements. It was really across the board. And again, it was all in pursuit of making it into a good movie. That was his main focus.”

The movie boasts a star-studded cast, including Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, and Kevin Bacon, and has received positive reviews for its powerful performances. Since its recent release on Netflix, “Leave the World Behind” has achieved a 76% “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and accumulated over 41 million views, making it the number one movie on the streaming service.

“Leave the World Behind” is currently available for streaming on Netflix.