First footage of Annihilation, the new film from Ex Machina’s director Alex Garland, adapting the popular book by Jeff VanderMeer. Via Screenrant:
Natalie Portman’s upcoming film, Annihilation, has a cryptic trailer that may create more questions than answers. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel of the same name, Annihilation is Alex Garland’s newest directorial project. Garland began his career in film as a screenwriter, writing 28 Days Later and Sunshine among others, before taking on the role of director with Ex Machina. Ex Machina, which embraced and defied science fiction and horror tropes, went on to win an Oscar for its special effects. Annihilation will also explore the relationship between science fiction and horror – and the special effects in the trailer look excellent – but its similarities to Ex Machina may end there.
The novel Annihilation is the first of three books in the Southern Reach trilogy. It is told from the perspective of Natalie Portman’s character, known exclusively by her job title “the Biologist”. The other two books in the Southern Reach trilogy, Authority and Acceptance, are narrated by other characters. The trilogy gets its name from the Southern Reach, a mysterious organization that is facilitating scientific explorations into Area X, a region that is undergoing a drastic and otherworldly environmental change. The Southern Reach is a corporate entity, but they have partnered with the United States government and military to secure the border to Area X to prevent anyone from getting in – or anything from getting out.
A number of images from the trailer also appear in the book’s imagery: the lighthouse, the tower/tunnel, the cross-pollination of animals and plants, the human-like plants (or are they plant-like humans?). Just as the mysterious “it” that Portman’s character is questioned about in the trailer defies categorization, much of the flora and fauna of Area X continuously pushes the boundaries of how our society understands language, intelligence, and life. The book Annihilation is less concerned with how exactly Area X came to be, and more concerned with how humans have to confront their own limitations within this incomprehensible and seemingly hostile environment.