Writer-director Alex Garland, whose new film Annihilation is coming to theaters on February 23rd and on Netflix in March, recently did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit to promote the new film. Of course, somebody asked the one thing all directors get asked these days: would you ever consider doing a superhero movie? In the past, A-list directors like Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, and William Friedkin have gone on record to express their disinterest in the superhero genre, and – looking at Garland’s filmography – it’s easy to imagine a scenario where his response would be similar. But instead, he said two words that got every DC fanboy jumping out of their pants: Swamp. Thing.
Originally created in 1971, a handful of iterations from writers Alan Moore and Mark Millar have given the character his signature appearance, even adding onto his powers and giving him more control over his elemental surroundings while deepening his story and characters. A fan favorite among readers and a staple in DC’s animated output, Swamp Thing was first adapted by Wes Craven in 1982, just two years before his breakout hit, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Having already directed Last House On the Left and The Hills Have Eyes – both of which would go on to be cult classics following their respective DVD releases – Swamp Thing was Craven’s attempt to appeal to a much wider audience after previously doing everything in his power to alienate them.
Although the film was decently well-received upon release, even garnering a 3 out of 4 stars from Roger Ebert, it is very much a product of its time, filled to the brim with the kind of mid-80s camp we’ve come to know and love. That said, the character is due for another live-action adaptation, and Alex Garland might be the guy to do it. He’s obviously got an affinity for body horror, and since I don’t think David Cronenberg would be interested in the project, Garland is probably the next best thing. Better yet, get Garland to write and Cronenberg to direct, and we might be looking at the best movie of the year right there. And since nobody has touched the project since Cube director Vincenzo Natali abandoned it around the time that he was releasing Splice in 2009, it’s Garland’s project for the taking.
Additionally, Garland revealed that a sequel to the 2002 zombie classic 28 Days Later – which he wrote – probably wouldn’t happen. The original film, which was directed by Danny Boyle, was followed up by a 2007 sequel – 28 Weeks Later – which Garland had no involvement in. The sequel is argued by some to be superior to Boyle’s original and had fans clamoring for a third installment that never ended up happening. That said, a comic book bridging the gap between the two films was hailed as one of the best of its kind upon release, so maybe, in the age of the superhero, another comic book might get people re-interested in the franchise.
You can read the rest of Alex Garland’s AMA right here, and be sure to see Annihilation on February 23rd!
Images: Netflix, 20th Century Fox, DC