Mahershala Ali, My'hala, Julia Roberts, and Ethan Hawke in Leave the World Behind

Will ‘Leave the World Behind’ Remedy Its Ambiguity With a Sequel?

Nearly a week out from its streaming release, Leave the World Behind is still Netflix’s #1 movie. Its strong viewership, in addition to its mostly positive critical reception, has left viewers wondering if a sequel is on the horizon.

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The psychological thriller sees two families, the Scotts and Sanfords, navigating a large-scale crisis after being unexpectedly drawn together. Due to their technology being disrupted, they struggle to decipher what is happening to the nation. This results in viewers also being left in the dark for the majority of the film. Not only do viewers have to piece together what’s happening but also what the film is trying to say about the country, technology, and how society would act during a disaster. The ambiguity lasts all the way until the end, leaving viewers to interpret the ending and film themselves without solid answers.

The book that Leave the World Behind is based on also ends on an ambiguous note. This lack of answers has created a bit of controversy for viewers who felt misled by the film’s buildup and wanted to see the results of the intriguing disaster hypothesis. Perhaps a sequel could give them the answers they want.

Is Leaving the World Behind getting a sequel?

Mahershala Ali as G. H. Scott looking out the window in Leave the World Behind

So far, there has been no indication that a sequel to Leave the World Behind is happening. However, given that the ending leaves the door open for a continuation and that Netflix may want to capitalize on the film’s success, there’s a small possibility of a sequel or spinoff. However, those who really watched and understood Leave the World Behind likely won’t desire another film.

After all, the ambiguity is a significant part of the story. It helps viewers realize that seeing the exact outcome of this disaster isn’t the film’s point. The point is to challenge viewers to think about the underlying social, racial, and political issues framed by the movie and perhaps even to warn them about the dangers of technology and unrest in America. When it comes to the crisis in the film, we’re supposed to think more about why it’s happening than what’s happening. Understanding what causes a crisis like this is a lot more important than seeing an apocalyptic world just to satisfy our morbid curiosity.

Another problem with a sequel is that there’s no more source material. Leave the World Behind fully adapted Rumaan Alam’s book of the same name, and he doesn’t appear to be interested in writing a sequel. That means writer/director Sam Esmail (or, more likely, whoever might take over his duties on a sequel) would have to pen a wholly original story, and it’s questionable if they could recapture the complexity and thoughtfulness of Alam’s original idea.

Ultimately, there are currently no plans for a Leave the World Behind sequel, and that may not be a bad thing.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.