Sam Esmail‘s upcoming thriller for Netflix Leave the World Behind is quietly building up an impressive cast, now adding Kevin Bacon (You Should Have Left, City on a Hill) and Farrah Mackenzie (United States of Al, Utopia) to an already strong group. They’ll round out the previously announced stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la Herrold, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Charlie Evans. There’s currently no release window for the film which is based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name from Rumaan Alam.
The film sees a family vacation take a turn for the worse, as their relaxing trip on Long Island is cut off by two strangers telling of an ominous blackout. It’s a slow burn, bringing the two families together to decide how best to survive the coming disaster. It explores not only our place in the world, but how bonds are forged, broken, and twisted in the midst of a crisis. Alam‘s original novel has garnered plenty of praise from media outlets and more since it was published in 2019, becoming A Read with Jenna Today Show Pick, a finalist for the 2020 National Book Awards, and was hailed as a Best Book of the Year from The Washington Post, NPR, Time, and more.
Esmail and Chad Hamilton will produce the film through Esmail Corp alongside Roberts and Red Om Films‘ Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. The book’s author Alam is on as an executive producer, joining Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis, Esmail Corp’s Nick Krishnamurthy, and Danny Stillman. It wasn’t until recently that Higher Ground, the production company founded by former President and First Lady Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, boarded the production, though it’s a perfect fit since Leave the World Behind made it onto Barack‘s Summer Favorites.
Bacon has been a mainstay in Hollywood for years now, considered a generation-defining actor for his iconic roles in films ranging from the all-time classic Footloose, Tremors, Flatliners, and Mystic River, among many more. He has a lone Primetime Emmy nod to his name for 2009’s Taking a Chance, but his reputation precedes him throughout the industry as a multitalented actor with a wide range. More recently, he’s found work on the small screen with some television movies, including the 2016 series I Love Dick. He also has some other high-profile outings in the near future with Space Oddity and The Toxic Avenger on the way.
Compared to Bacon, Mackenzie‘s career is still quite young. She only recently earned her first recurring roles on The United States of Al and Utopia which she appeared in alongside Rainn Wilson and John Cusack, though she’s had a number of smaller appearances dating back to 2011. Some of her more notable credits include Workaholics, Logan Lucky, and Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.
Nothing is known about either’s role in Leave the World Behind nor is their any update on when production begins for the film.