Former US President Was Obsessed With Getting Every Detail of Mahershala Ali’s Latest Netflix Film Right

Former President Barack Obama provided notes to director Sam Esmail, displaying his serious commitment to producing this Mahershala Ali film.

Former US President Was Obsessed With Getting Every Detail of Mahershala Ali’s Latest Netflix Film Right


  • Sam Esmail, director of Leave the World Behind, worked with Barack Obama as a producer on his project starring Mahershala Ali
  • The film is the first fictional project produced jointly by Michelle and Barack Obama, owned by Higher Ground Productions
  • Obama was obsessed with getting every detail right for the project and was deeply involved at every stage
Show More

In a recent interview, Mr. Robot director Sam Esmail discussed the remarkable experience of working with Barack Obama, who is also an ardent movie lover, as a producer on his project starring Mahershala Ali, expressing that having the former US president and first lady Michelle Obama on board is beyond words.

Featured Video

In addition to that, the film Leave the World Behind marks the first venture into fictional filmmaking for Higher Ground Productions, the company owned by the duo. And thus, it’s believable when the director revealed Obama was obsessed with getting everything right.

Leave the World Behind (2023)
Leave the World Behind (2023)

Also Read: Leave the World Behind Review – A Thought-Provoking Psychological Study on Humanity

Barack Obama Was Obsessed With Getting Every Detail Right for This Mahershala Ali Film

Leave the World Behind marks the first fictional project produced jointly by Michelle and Barack Obama, and it was a surreal experience, for the director, Sam Esmail, to say the least. During a recent Vanity Fair conversation, Esmail disclosed Obama’s meticulous attention to detail throughout the project and how deeply involved the former president was at every stage.


In addition to that the movie which is based on Rumaan Alam’s novel was a part of his summer reading list, and thus further clarifies why he was so passionate about everything. Esmail said,

“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,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–k out of me.”

Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali in Leave the World Behind

He truly cared about each and every aspect of the Mahershala Ali movie. The director further revealed,


“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.”

As a genuine movie lover, the former president really went above and beyond to ensure everything was done right.

Also Read: “I think we’ll be back at it”: Mahershala Ali Has an Exciting Update for Blade After Marvel Reportedly Tried to Relegate Him in His Own Movie


Barack Obama Is Quite the Movie Buff

It’s widely known that the former president is an avid movie enthusiast, as evident from his diverse favorites list. When Sam Esmail was questioned about what it was like working with Barack Obama, he emphasized the former president’s profound love for movies. In a ReelBlend podcast, he revealed,

“Here’s the thing, he is a huge movie lover, and I didn’t quite know how in-depth his movie knowledge was until I started talking to him. He’s a huge fan of the book. He really was committed to making this into a great movie, and he was giving me notes at the script stage, multiple drafts included, you know, post-rough cuts. He was really involved.”

Sam Esmail on ReelBlend (credit: ReelBlend Productions)
Sam Esmail on ReelBlend (credit: ReelBlend Productions)

He further continued,


“You know, there were moments when obviously we just would talk about our shows, our favorite movies, or etc, and just to hear him talk about his love for films and the fact that it’s kind of a deep roster, it’s not just like the blockbusters that came out this year.”

In plain terms, his deep love for movies fueled his strong commitment to this project.

Leave the World Behind is currently streaming on Netflix.


Also Read: Despite Deadpool 3 and Blade’s High Rating, Fans Have Lost All Faith in Marvel After 2 Years Worth of Epic Blunders


Written by Sampurna Banerjee

Sampurna Banerjee, an ardent enthusiast of pop culture and movies, pours her passion into her role as a writer for FandomWire. With a penchant for Marvel, DC, and sitcoms, she has contributed over 400 articles, staying up-to-date to the entertainment industry's latest buzz. Moreover, she's penned over 300 articles for Animated Times and shared her work across several Instagram pages. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calcutta University.