Ethan Hawke has joined the cast of Leaving the world behindthe Netflix movie based on the 2020 novel by Rumaan Alam, Deadline reports

The Oscar-nominated actor (Training day, First Reformed) will star alongside previously announced stars Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali in the film. Hawke will play the part of Roberts’ husband.

Alam’s National Book Award finalist follows two families forced to share a weekend house when New York City is hit by a mysterious blackout—perhaps a sign of a bigger disaster. In a one-star review, a critic of Kirkus called the book “a gripping novel that buzzes with suspense but ultimately offers no easy answers.”

In a 2020 interview with Kirkus, Alam spoke about the filming of his novel, noting that receiving praise from the film’s director was even more meaningful than the support of his agent and editor.

“To have Sam [Esmail] excited about the book felt different, because he himself is an artist engaged in a pursuit no different from what I do: to create a world and a story and hope that people will be touched by it,” he said. “And to have him say that your book is interesting to me, and I want to do this with your book, was just incredible.”

Myha’la Herrold (Plan B), Ryan Kiera Armstrong (It Chapter Two), and Charlie Evans (Everything will be fine

Esmail (Homecoming Mr Robot) will write and direct the film, which is produced by Roberts, Esmail, Lisa Gillan, Marisa Yeres Gill and Chad Hamilton. Alam will be an executive producer on the film.

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and a regular contributor to NPR.