Former US President Barack Obama is a producer on upcoming disaster movie "Leave the World Behind."
Director Sam Esmail said Obama scared him with some of his feedback on the screenplay.
Esmail said Obama hinted the script was closer to reality than the director initially thought.
Former US President Barack Obama frightened the director of the upcoming disaster movie "Leave the World Behind" with comments about his eerily realistic screenplay.
Sam Esmail, creator of the hit show "Mr. Robot," directed and wrote the apocalyptic Netflix movie, which is based on a 2020 book of the same name. The film is produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground, after Obama previously championed the novel in his summer reading list in 2021.
In an interview with Vanity Fair published Wednesday, Esmail said the former president provided feedback on the script in his capacity as a producer — and some of it was scary.
"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," Esmail explained. "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 fuck out of me."
Esmail also said that Obama was helpful in keeping the screenplay grounded in reality.
"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," the director said. "He had a lot of notes about the characters and the empathy we would have for them."
Esmail continued: "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," starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, and Kevin Bacon, follows a New York family who rent an Airbnb in Long Island just before the end of the world. When the owner of the property (Ali) and his daughter (Myha'la Herrold) show up to seek refuge in the home, the two groups have to decide whether they can work together to survive.
"Leave the World Behind" premieres on Netflix on December 8.
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