Annihilation is about a group of scientists — played by Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny — who explore a strange part of world where “occurrences” happen. That sounds like every sci-fi movie, but within that premise, there’s a lot of strange twists and turns. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel of the same name, Annihilation is the latest from Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland, who told Entertainment Weekly, “I read the book in one sitting. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and I really enjoyed the prose, and I enjoyed the sheer originality of it.”
The movie won’t be a direct adaptation, though. For one thing, in the book, the characters are never given names: they’re the Surveyor, the Psychologist, the Anthropologist, etc. But Portman’s Biologist is named Lena, a decision made by Garland, who also wrote the screenplay, because, “In a film with this kind of execution, it would be slightly too arch if they’re saying, ‘Hey, Biologist, come check this out.’ It makes it too other. This film is weird enough.”
Weird sounds like an understatement. “The first conversation I had when I was meeting actors or having production meetings was that the film is about various things and various themes but the basic underlying principle is the journey from suburbia to psychedelia,” Garland said. “We’re going to start in suburbia and end in psychedelia.” The “things aren’t what they seem” unease is there in the trailer.
Annihilation — which also stars Oscar Isaac — comes out February 23, 2018.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)