For the directing prowess director Alex Garland expressed in Ex Machina, it comes as no surprise that his upcoming project Annihilation is set to impress.
Based upon the bestselling novel of the same name authored by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation follows an expedition team comprised of a biologist, a surveyor, anthropologist and a psychologist who explore an environmental disaster zone known as Area X. Following in the steps of numerous expeditions before them, these explorers get more when they bargained for when they find Area X to be a world where the natural laws no longer apply. The film will reunite Garland and Oscar Isaac, who made Ex Machina so great and it also stars Natalie Portman as the biologist and Jennifer Jason Leigh as the psychologist. With Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson also starring in lead roles, though which characters they will play is still unclear. What is certain though is that the cast has a strong female presence and with Portman and Leigh at the helm, much is to be expected. If Annihilation proves a success it will only serve to promote opportunities for women in Hollywood.
Annihilation is currently in the midst of post-production and anticipation is only growing thanks to the leaked set photos released by cinematographer Rob Hardy, Rodriguez and Thompson on Instagram. If these photos are any indicator, Garland is set to give us a stunningly beautiful movie.
At this stage it’s too early to say how closely Garland worked with the original content of the book. After all, in the novel the story is expressed through the journal of the biologist, whether that means the movie will opt for the same route remains to be seen. Still if the film is to be anywhere near as successful, then it will have to capture the distinct themes of mystery coupled with sci-fi elements. For one thing is certain, beyond all the beauty, a realm of darkness is hiding.
Garland also received notoriety for his screenplay of 28 Days Later where he reinvented the zombie genre.
Annihilation is not due to come out until 2017 and no release date has yet been revealed.