This highly anticipated film marks writer and director Alex Garland’s follow-up to Ex Machina. The first trailer for Annihilation was just released courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Skydance and it already looks like a visual stunner, but with Garland behind the camera as both a writer and director, we can assume this is going to be a whole lot more.
The trailer only drops a few hints as what happens during Natalie Portman and crew’s expedition into “Area X.” The previous trip saw members return as shells of their former selves, all of whom are dying of cancer after coming back. Annihilation combines the very best in sci-fi filmmaking with a top-notch team both in front of, and behind, the camera.
Check out the first surreal trailer for Annihilation below:
Annihilation centers around a group of female scientists who head out on a mission to an environmental disaster zone in order to locate Natalie Portman’s character’s husband. Oscar Isaac, who memorably played the scientist in Garland’s previous film Ex Machina, plays Portman’s husband. Annihilation is based on the Jeff VanderMeer novel of the same name and the film co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson.
Alex Garland cemented himself as a supreme new directing talent after the positive reviews and box office returns for Ex Machina. The film beat out Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Oscars when it won Best Visual Effects, becoming the least expensive movie to take that honor since Alien. Annihilation has some high expectations, but judging by Garland’s past work and the incredible cast he’s assembled things are looking very good.
In addition to the trailer, the first official photo, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, finds Natalie Portman’s Lana facing down the mouth of a very large mutated alligator in Area X, which is the group’s first tangible encounter with something odd.
“Mutated alligator,” you say? That’s right, Garland says the alligator “has physical elements to it that should not belong on an alligator.”
Check it out below:
Garland has expressed his intention to maintain the beauty of VanderMeer’s novel, even when the tale becomes increasingly grim. Annihilation is also meant to kick off a trilogy but Garland is tackling this film as a standalone movie:
“I did once work on a film called Dredd, which I imagined to be the first part of a trilogy,” says Garland. “But it’s not something I like doing. I’d rather work on a story that I felt was self-contained rather than one that sort of had a ‘dot-dot-dot’ at the end. I think that provokes a sort of instant, understandable, cynicism. We sense the money grab and I feel that pollutes the story. So, right from the get-go, I did not think of this as being part of a trilogy; I thought of it as being just a single, self-contained movie. If other people wanted to do that, that would be fine. That’s none of my business. But from my point of view, it’s just one.”
Annihilation will open in theaters on February 23, 2018.
Images: Paramount, Universal International