How the former president influenced the new Netflix movie


  • Barack Obama’s input helped bring the apocalyptic tension and realism to life in the thrilling film adaptation of Leave the World Behind.
  • The way the characters interact with the complex scene and explore deeper themes thanks to the involvement of the Obamas.
  • Barack Obama uses his presidential experience to refine the technological disaster aspects of the film, contributing to its exciting and realistic balance.

Leave the world behind is a thrilling piece of work that strikes the right balance between apocalyptic suspense and realism, and part of the reason it was able to pull that off was because of Barack Obama’s input. The psychological thriller is based on Ruman Alam’s 2020 critically acclaimed novel of the same name. It follows the story of two families whose lives become intertwined after a blackout turns into a major crisis. The film adaptation of Leave the world behind boasts an incredible and stellar cast that greatly contributes to the way the book’s twists and turns are expertly brought to life on screen.

In addition to the stellar cast, part of what led to Leave the world behindPositive reviews of is the way the characters interact with the complex scene set before them. The apocalyptic nature of the film serves as a backdrop to explore things like race relations and class tensions. The Obamas were able to help make this happen thanks to their large contribution to the project.

Barack and Michelle Obama produced Netflix’s Leave The World Behind and helped with the script

Former President and First Lady of the United States Barack and Michelle Obama both starred in Netflix Leave the world behind. In 2022, the production company Higher Ground, founded by the couple, joined the exciting project. According to The Hollywood ReporterBarack Obama was specifically invested in the film, providing valuable and detailed notes on the script. Leave the world behindDirector Sam Esmail revealed that he would ask the former president for advice when writing the original drafts, as it helped him ground the story in reality.


Leave the World Behind Interview: Director Sam Esmail and Author Ruman Alam on Cultivating Fear

Director/writer Sam Esmail and writer Rumaan Alam discuss bringing Leave the World Behind’s iconic horror to life in the new thriller.

Although the piece is fiction, Esmail’s goal was to keep it as realistic as possible, and Barack Obama helped him achieve that. He provided notes on the characters and the empathy a film should have when portraying them, as well as when certain plot points are too bare or unlikely. Esmail explained that the former president is a big movie buff and a fan of the book, so his observations are not only based on his background, but also his love for the project.

Barack Obama’s presidential experience was partly influenced by the Leave The World Behind approach to technological disaster

Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali, Julia Roberts and Michaela Herold in Leave the World Behind

One aspect of Leave the world behind that Barack Obama had a big impact on was his technological disaster. USA today reports that Obama used his experience in the White House to refine some of the parts of the film related to the technological disaster. He informed Esmail that some of the more dystopian implications included in the film were not realistic. Having someone so well-versed in this type of planning made all the difference to the film, which ended up being a strong balance between exciting, suspenseful and realistic.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today

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