Barack Obama Gave Notes On ‘Leave The World Behind’, New Julia Roberts/Ethan Hawke Film

Barack Obama Gave Notes On ‘Leave The World Behind’, New Julia Roberts/Ethan Hawke Film

He once gave orders that changed the world. Now, he’s giving suggestions that may help a film.

Former President Barack Obama provided notes on the upcoming film, Leave The World Behind, starring Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawk, according to the film’s screenwriter and director, Sam Esmail, who was interviewed by Vanity Fair.

Based on a novel by Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind follows a couple on a Long Island vacation just before the apocalypse. The film is being produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground.

Related Stories

“In the original drafts of the script, I definitely pushed things a lot farther than they were in the film, and President Obama, having the experience he does have, was able to ground me a little bit on how things might unfold in reality,” Esmail said.

“I am writing what I think is fiction, for the most part, I’m trying to keep it as true to life as possible, but I’m exaggerating and dramatizing. And to hear an ex-president say you’re off by a few details… I thought I was off by a lot! The fact that he said that scared the f— out of me,” Esmail said.

Obama said some of the plot points were too pessimistic, Esmail said.

“He had a lot [of] notes about the characters and the empathy we would have for them,” Esmail added. “I have to say he is a big movie lover, and he wasn’t just giving notes about things that were from his background. He was giving notes as a fan of the book, and he wanted to see a really good film.”

Leave the World Behind premieres in theaters on Nov. 22, and hits Netflix Dec. 8.