After a break from film, genre writer Alex Garland is making a formidable comeback. Following on from yesterday’s trailer debut for his futuristic directorial effort, Ex-Machina, Garland is now in Paramount’s crosshairs for another intriguing project. Should the pieces fall into place, the 28 Days Later scribe will be writing and directing environmental horror, Annihilation.
Variety broke the news this morning, and based on their report we understand the studio have pegged producers Scott Rudin and Eli Bush to head up development on the pic. After acquiring the movie rights earlier this year, it seems they’re now moving full steam ahead on Annihilation, which is based on the first instalment in author Jeff VanderMeer’s recently-released trilogy, The Southern Reach.
The story revolves around a mysterious site called Area X, and one woman’s mission to discover what happened to her husband when he ventured within its limits many years before. All three novels were published this year and have so far received wide acclaim.
Garland’s credits have so far been mainly constrained to the writing side of genre. As well as 28 Days Later, he also penned Sunshine and the 2012 Dredd reboot. Annihilation will be another step for him into direction, and it’s one that we’re excited to see develop into his future.
Check out the official synopsis for the Annihilation novel below, and be sure to let us know if you’ll be giving it a read before the movie lands.
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.