Why ‘Leave the World Behind’ viewers think the Obamas are sending a warning with movie

Why ‘Leave the World Behind’ viewers think the Obamas are sending a warning with movie

Warning: Spoilers below.

The movie “Leave the World Behind” is fiction, but many viewers are reading more into it.

The Netflix apocalyptic thriller, which came out Nov. 22, stars Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali, and Kevin Bacon.

The plot follows a family on vacation at a rental house on Long Island, who get interrupted by strangers showing up, amid a mysterious blackout and technology glitches.

Both families work together to decide how to survive as technology such as phones and television break down, and airplanes start crashing.

In the movie, the characters have various theories for what’s causing these unsettling events: that it’s the work of hackers; that it’s a government conspiracy; that the US is at war with rogue forces using radiological weapons to make people turn against each other.

Mahershela Ali (left), Myha’la Herrold, Julia Roberts, and Ethan Hawke in a scene from “Leave the World Behind.” AP

It’s based on a 2020 novel by Rumaan Alam, and directed, written, and produced by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail.

It’s also the first feature film from High Ground, the production company founded by former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in 2018.

Their involvement is prompting conspiracy theories.

“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,” one viewer posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Barack and Michelle Obama are producers of the movie. Michelle Obama Barack/Instagram

Other viewers interpreted the movie as not being so fictional.

One viewer wrote, “Have yall watched ‘Leave the world behind”? I feel so uneasy because this can easily happen TOMORROW.”

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“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,” another viewer commented.

Some viewers thought the Obamas were “warning us” of what’s coming. Getty Images
Hawke, Roberts, and Ali in “Leave the World Behind.”

“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,” another viewer said.

Talking to Vanity Fair about working with former President Obama, Esmail said, “President Obama, having the experience he does have, was able to ground me a little bit on how things might unfold in reality.”

He continued: “He had a lot of notes about the characters and the empathy we would have for them. 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.”

Critics slammed the movie and the Obamas’ involvement. GC Images

“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,” one commenter said.

Roberts, 56, meanwhile, gave her own take in an interview with CBS News. “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 earlier this month.

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“There’s so much to unpack, you know when you’re talking about this movie,” she went on. “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.”