Natalie Portman in Annihilation

Annihilation Trailer #1 (2018) *Alex Garland’s Follow-Up to Ex Machina*

Paramount Pictures and Skydance have released the first official trailer for Annihilation, director Alex Garland’s follow-up to his 2015 hit Ex Machina. The futuristic gothic horror adaptation, based on the first part of novelist Jeff VanderMeer’s “Southern Reach” trilogy, stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac. Annihilation will arrive in theaters on February 23, 2018.

Natalie Portman in Annihilation

Annihilation, first published in 2014, is officially described as follows:

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; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died 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 months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their 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 and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to 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.

Paramount Pictures and producer Scott Rudin (also a producer on Ex Machina) acquired the movie rights to the entire 2014 trilogy. Annihilation, published in February 2014, was followed by Authority in May 2014 and Acceptance in September 2014. Garland has previously revealed, however, that he considers the film a standalone movie and not the first part of a trilogy.
*Text from Coming Soon
Tessa Thompson in Annihilation

22 thoughts on “Annihilation Trailer #1 (2018) *Alex Garland’s Follow-Up to Ex Machina*”

      1. Ex Machina was a masterpiece. The description for this new film did nothing for me, but then I saw the trailer, and now I’m hooked. Looks like something new and fresh. And Portman is usually a class act who chooses worthy projects. I choose to forgive her for working with Darren Aronofsky, because she was the mother of Luke and Leia, and because I’ve admired her acting skills since she was a kid, in Leon the Professional and Mars Attacks.

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  1. I love that Garland considers the film a standalone movie. That is worth the price of admission. I love SW, I love the MCU, but I hate that all the auteurs are instantly getting sucked into the corporate franchise vortex. I know that the new Blade Runner is being called a masterpiece via the Twitter accounts of various critics, and it looks impressive indeed, and I am stoked. But I want Villenvue to use the clout he hopefully will gain, and jump right back into ever-more ambitious original films that ARE NOT PARTS OF FRANCHISES. We need that so badly. That was one of the selling points of the new Twin Peaks for me, that it was going to be a one and done deal. Now I want more, because what kind of sick twisted game is David Lynch playing, but that is another subject entirely.

    I hope you’re well.

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    1. I’m hanging in. I want Villenueve to do Dune next and I can’t really think of anyone else I want to do that. I only made it through the first book of this trilogy and was not a fan of VanderMeer’s writing, so standalone suits me just fine.

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      1. As cool as a Villeneuve Dune would be, deep down I think it’s an unfilmable novel. And the subsequent books only get more unflimable. With regards to Chapterhouse: Dune, I would say the book was almost unwritable, had I not read and enjoyed it.

        Villeneuve is obviously the man for the job, if the job must be, but any attempt at all would still be too much of a compromise, and I wish this one would die. The only Dune adaptation I would have wanted to see was Jodorowski’s, because no Dune would ever work, so why the hell not. Lynch’s version looks impressive in parts but is a travesty. Rare unfilmable book.

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      2. I have never been let down by Villenueve and its heavy stuff not just straight scifi you need someone exactly like him…. or hey HIM! Better idea than the Cleopatra biopic they’re trying to get him to do

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      3. The thing that worries me is that he’s just made two sci-fi films in a row, and the new Blade Runner looks like it’s a really elaborate piece of worldbuilding. Directors have been known to want to shift gears, and Villenvue is early enough in his career to not want to be pigeonholed. We’ll see how much he loves science fiction.

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      4. Pray that Blade Runner makes a lot of money, and that Villenvue is chosen, because Dune is an untapped IP that will get made, with a serious-minded genius at the helm or not.

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      5. Well there’s lots of people tweeting “masterpiece,” so it’s hard to not be optimistic, but I try to err on the side of caution. I hope the tone is like the original, that it’s not too violent for audiences. I hope it’s not too difficult for people expecting a regular sci-fi blockbuster. Jared Leto’s character, and everything surrounding him, look disturbing as hell.

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    1. Sunshine was so close to Ex Machina level but then the second half degenerated into a weird slasher flick, but it’s still one of the best shot films I’ve ever seen. Even if she got it for the wrong movie, I was glad Alicia Vikander won the Oscar the year Ex Machina came out because she was frigging outstanding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen it three times, but the second half always lets me down. It’s half a movie as good or better than Ex Machina. With that movie he really stuck it from beginning to end. I couldn’t stand the book Annihilation (I don’t like the writing style) but keeping it just one film instead of trying to do all 3 books, they could make something really great (especially if Garland rewrote it).

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