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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington reunite for new Sam Esmail thriller

Illustration for article titled Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington reunite for new Sam Esmail thriller
Photo: Amy Sussman, Rich Fury (Getty Images)

Over 25 years after they appeared together in The Pelican Brief, Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington are reuniting for another intriguing thriller: Leave The World Behind, from Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the new thriller—based on an upcoming novel by Rumaan Alam—sparked a bidding scuffle between Apple, MGM, and Netflix, with the latter securing the rights in a deal that reportedly cost the streaming platform somewhere around $100 million. Esmail will write and direct the adaptation of Leave The World Behind, which follows a husband and wife on vacation at a rental property in a remote area of Long Island with their teen son and daughter. The family’s getaway is disrupted by the owners of the home, who return abruptly and claim the city has experienced a mysterious blackout. Without access to electricity or phone service, there’s no way to know the truth of the situation, and the dynamic between the families grows increasingly tense.

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Roberts, who previously starred in the first season of Esmail’s Homecoming series for Amazon, reportedly sent the book to Washington after she herself became interested in the project. In addition to Leave The World Behind, Esmail is working on a pair of projects for NBC’s new streaming platform, Peacock: Angelyne, a limited series based on the enigmatic cult icon from Los Angeles and starring Esmail’s real-life spouse Emmy Rossum in the title role, and a Battlestar Galactica reboot. Roberts will also reunite with Esmail for Gaslit, a limited series based on the Watergate scandal season of hit Slate podcast Slow Burn.

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