Alex Garland’s break into mainstream filmmaking was on the cards for some time before the arrival of his excellent and cerebral sci-fi, Ex Machina. As the screenwriter behind 28 Days Later, Sunshine and the beloved Dredd reboot, Garland had been honing his skills from behind the camera for quite a while, and his talent is apparent in every frame of his critically-acclaimed debut.
Not one to rest on his laurels, the British director is already eyeing up potential candidates for his next project, and one that has risen to the top of the pack is an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, Annihilation. Remaining in the genre of science fiction, Garland’s latest is currently in the embryonic stages at Paramount; nevertheless, the filmmaker was able to share a few tidbits about VanderMeer’s concept in an interview with Deadline.
“This group of women enter a sealed park to see what is going on inside, and it becomes this surreal sci-fi story, that reminded me of this J.G. Ballard sub-genre I had grown up reading,” Garland said about the story. “We are literally in the process of setting it up, it’s definitely spinning in the air at the moment.”
A sci-fi project that centers around four women in a post-apocalyptic world; where do we sign up? Not much is known beyond the core synopsis of Annihilation, though with a director of Garland’s clout at the helm, Paramount’s property could be one to keep an eye on.
As for his most recent film Ex Machina, the intellectual drama has been garnering praise across the industry for its impressive visuals and head-scratching concepts. On the topic of a sequel, though, Garland remained coy as he viewed the film as a standalone story.
“I imagined it as a completely self-contained story and I still feel that way about it,” he told Deadline. “It has become reflexive for people to imagine this movie was made to set up a sequel and that the plan was built into the structure of the film. But it was not that way, at all.”
Annihilation is the first installment in a trilogy of novels, and there’s every chance Paramount will be pushing to engineer a franchise out of VanderMeer’s work. Tell us, are you excited that Alex Garland is attached to the project?