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Paramount Planning 'Annihilation' Thriller Directed by Alex Garland

by
October 31, 2014
Source: Variety

Alex Garland / Annihilation

This week we just saw two teaser trailers for Ex Machina, the directorial debut of Dredd and 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland. And with the film poised to hit theaters in 2015, Garland is already lining up his next directing job. Variety reports Paramount Pictures has set Garland to direct Annihilation, an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's thriller novel of the same name, which the filmmaker will also adapt for the big screen himself. Annihilation, the first book in what is called The Southern Reach trilogy, was published in March and followed by Authority in May and Acceptance just last month. So what is the story all about?

Here's the official synopsis of the first book in the trilogy:

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

It's not clear if Paramount plans to turn all the books into films, or if they'll try to combine all three stories into one film. But the studio must have been impressed with Ex Machina in order to give Garland another movie already. A24 just acquired the rights to his directorial debut starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander, and they're sending it to theaters here in the United States on April 10th (though it hits the United Kingdom earlier). Garland seems to have a bright future ahead of him on the big screen, and we're always happy to have filmmakers with a penchant for sci-fi staying busy. Sound good?

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  • Jon Odishaw
    Maybe stop sending in expeditions. but seriously this has potential.
  • Read the first book earlier this year. I dug it and, honestly, the format lends itself well to film. It's very atmospheric and even cerebral at times. Looking forward to this!
  • DAVIDPD
    Those ladies are going to go through some shit. I will check this out, sounds good.

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