Exit West: Russo Brothers teaming up with Barack & Michelle Obama for new Netflix film
After over two years since Joe and Anthony Russo acquired the rights to Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s best-selling drama novel Exit West, Collider is now bringing word that the long-in-development film adaptation is still moving forward with Netflix and Barack & Michelle Obama signing on to produce. In addition, White Boy Rick director Yann Demange has also been tapped to helm the film with Venom actor Riz Ahmed attached for the leading role and to serve as an executive producer.
First published in 2017, Exit West novel tackles the themes of emigration and refugee problems. Set in an unidentified Middle Eastern country, the story centers around a young couple Saeed and Nadia escaped from their home when the violent war between the government and guerillas continues to worsen that resulted to the death of Saeed’s mother. The couple joins other migrants traveling to safer havens via carefully guarded doors. Each door takes them to different locations across the world, where their relationship is tested by their struggle to find food, adequate shelter and a sense of belonging among emigrant communities.
Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Exit West film will be produced by the Russo Brothers along with Mike Larocca through their AGBO banner. The directing duo is best known for directing last year’s highest-grossing film of all time Avengers: Endgame which grossed over $2 billion at the worldwide box office.
Coming off from their Academy Award-winning documentary film American Factory, Michelle and Barack Obama will produce together with Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan through their Higher Ground Productions banner. This project will be the Obamas’ latest collaboration with Netflix, who have worked together on American Factory.
The film adaptation was originally developed by Jessica Goldberg with The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum previously attached to direct. Production is expected to this coming spring.
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(Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)