Hollywood veteran Denzel Washington was earlier in talks for one of the lead roles in the project, which was first announced back in July 2020, but now Ali will play that part, reported Deadline.
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by author Rumaan Alam. Mr Robot creator Sam Esmail attached to direct and adapt the book. Esmail has earlier worked with Julia Roberts on the first season of Amazon Prime Video series Homecoming.
Leave the World Behind follows two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Roberts will play the mother of the family that rents a house and Ali will portray the homeowner.
The story will explore the themes of parenthood, race, and class. The film will be produced by Roberts through her Red Om Films banner and Esmail and Chad Hamilton through Esmail Corp.
Alam will serve as an executive producer. Ali, who has won two Oscars for his performances in Moonlight and Green Book, will next feature in Apple Studios film Swan Song. He will also star in Marvel Studios movie Blade, to be directed by Bassam Tariq.