A new movie on Netflix has viewers wondering what kind of cryptic warning message former President Barack Obama may be sending.
Viewers of the film, “Leave the World Behind” reacted to the fine line between fiction and reality after watching the work by the production company founded by Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama. The reactions and various conspiracy theories sprouted in the wake of the film’s release prompted a response from the director who dismissed the ideas and any underlying message from Obama.
The movie ‘Leave the World Behind’ is definitely a message to what’s happening and what’s to come. It’s very much in line with what we’ve been saying for years: Stock up on none perishables and water. Also, the fact that the Obamas are exec prod’ers is making my dog ears go up
— I KEEP MY PLANTS WATERED (@KeSpeaksLife) December 9, 2023
Based on a 2020 novel by Rumaan Alam, and starring Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali and Kevin Bacon, this first feature film from the Obamas’ company, High Ground, was directed, written and produced by Sam Esmail and is focused on a nationwide cyberattack.
“A family’s getaway to a luxurious rental home takes an ominous turn when a cyberattack knocks out their devices — and two strangers appear at their door,” reads the description of the film on the Netflix site.
“President Obama, having the experience he does have, was able to ground me a little bit on how things might unfold in reality,” Esmail told Vanity Fair back in September, describing his work with the former president.
Despite being a work of fiction, the film gave viewers an eerie sense of what could be a reality.
What really is sitting with me was how there were different countries who they were expecting to target us in the movie and the guy was like “America has made too many enemies maybe that all just banned together and decided to take us out” because it could really be anyone
— horoscope whore (@BRANnewtweets) December 10, 2023
But Esmail threw cold water on all the speculation in an interview with Collider.
“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,” the creator of “The Robot” said. “I would just say they’re pretty wrong in terms of his signaling. It had nothing to do with that.”
“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,” the director explained.
“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,” Esmail added.
Actress Julia Roberts admitted there’s “so much to unpack” in the film.
“Sam [Esmail] calls it a disaster movie. Ethan [Hawke] calls it a thriller. It’s both those things. But to me, it’s a story about this family, this husband and wife, who are kind of opposites. He’s the quieter, more laid back. And she’s this prickly workaholic,” she said in an interview with CBS News.
Julia Roberts says “Leave the World Behind” is both a disaster movie and a thriller, but also “a story about this family, this husband and wife, who are kind of opposites.”@GayleKing also quizzes her on iconic roles — and Roberts opens up about marriage to her “favorite human.” pic.twitter.com/laSQXvs4tm
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) December 12, 2023
“There’s so much to unpack, you know when you’re talking about this movie,” the actress added. “There’s just so many different ideas to talk about. There’s so much fragility in the world to talk about. There’s so much that really is in our capable hands that we’re not being truly responsible with.”
Viewers continued to drop their reactions and theories on X about the movie and the Obamas’ involvement.
LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND is a very strange film for a former united states president to have a producing credit on, i’ll say that lol
— jourdain searles (@judysquirrels) December 10, 2023
It is happening. They even told us the countries. Come on now. We’re at the “scramble the enemy” stage. See Palestine vs. Israel, Russia vs. Ukraine, Liz Cheney vs. the GOP, antifa vs fascists, 2nd civil war, it’s a big list.
— Fractalfay (@fractalfay) December 10, 2023
Forget tomorrow, we’re pretty much on step 2. Step 3 is coming and the Obamas are mocking all of us who don’t live in the Hamptons as they warn us it’s coming.
— RL (@RLsloanes) December 10, 2023
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