Sam Esmail, the director of the Netflix post-apocalyptic film Leave the World Behind, spoke to Deadline Wednesday night on the red carpet at the film’s AFI premiere.
Leave the World Behind, which starts streaming Dec. 8, stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la and Kevin Bacon in a thriller based on a novel by Rumaan Alam. In the film, a family’s vacation is upended when two strangers arrive at night, seeking refuge from a cyberattack that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.
Getting a great review from Esmail on their Leave the World Behind work were Barack and Michelle Obama, who produced the film for Netflix.
“They worked from top to bottom on this movie, from crafts to production to post,” Esmail said. “And, you know, look, it’s a dream working with these guys. They’re some of the most brilliant minds on the planet. Their involvement was really invaluable.”
Esmail was also the creator of the acclaimed Mr. Robot, where he teamed with Rami Malek. Esmail is “100%” sure he will team again with Malek, he told Deadline.
“I don’t think Rami and I are going to let too much time go without us working together again,” Esmail said. “We loved workng on (Mr. Robot), and we just need to find the right project to re-team again.”
As for the reboot development of Battlestar Galactica he’s working on, Esmail had more good news.
“Well, I can’t speak to the movie version, but for the TV series, we are working on it. And in fact, I just read a great outline and it’s in great shape. Because the strike is over now – at least the WGA strike is over – we’re back into developing it.”
For Esmail’s takes on Julia Roberts, the Apple cancellation of Metropolis, and his AFI speech, visit Deadline on Twitter.