Alex Garland’s Gothic Horror Annihilation Adds Gina Rodriguez

CBS, The CW, and Showtime 2015 Summer TCA Party

Paramount displayed a lot of confidence in screenwriter-cum-director Alex Garland after snatching the director for its high-profile adaptation of Annihilation last year – before Ex Machina released to the masses, no less. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s dark and brooding Southern Reach trilogy, the studio’s budding new franchise blends elements of gothic horror with futuristic sci-fi, meaning Garland ought to be right in his wheelhouse.

Having already secured Natalie Portman in a leading part, Variety now reports that Gina Rodriguez has boarded the cast. That means it’s Jane meets Jane on Paramount’s sci-fi flick, with Portman on the verge of hitting the Wild West in Jane Got a Gun and Rodriguez continuing to garner praise for her role on The CW’s Jane the Virgin. Beyond this, the outlet didn’t disclose the exact role that the latter actress is set to portray.

In terms of story, Annihilation – written and directed by Garland, channeling his experience on the 28 Days Later series among others – is fundamentally an environmental-horror tale. Centering on a nebulous patch of land in the States known as Area X, the small land mass is responsible for scores of disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers and mental trauma, and it’s left to a core group of four to venture into the area to pinpoint the exact reasoning behind these most peculiar side-effects.

First published in 2014, here’s a synopsis of Annihilation:

A team of four (a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor) set out into a place known as Area X. The area is abandoned and cut off from the rest of civilization. They are the 12th expedition. The other expeditions have been fraught with disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers, and mental trauma.

We assume that Portman and newcomer Rodriguez will form part of that aforementioned quartet, and with Annihilation on course to step in front of the cameras and into Area X in early 2016, we expect Paramount to fill the remaining roles sooner rather than later.