Sci-fi has gotten trippier and more abstract in the last few years, what with Ex Machina and Arrival dominating the box office and our imaginations. Now, we get more down-to-Earth, but not in the good way with the adaptation of Annihilation.
Based on the novel by Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation follows an unnamed biologist who volunteers to enter Area X, a bizarre section of forested land where people disappear. She joins to figure out what happened to her husband, who went on a previous expedition, only to be horrified by what she finds. The cast includes Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Oscar Isaac in the lead roles.
While the movie is going to be a little different than the book it is based on, the author got to see the film and is very pleased with the result, as he told The Watch podcast:
“It’s actually more surreal than the novel. There are a couple places where I was like, ‘I might need an anchor here.’ The ending is so mind-blowing and in some ways different from the book that it seems to be the kind of ending that, like 2001 or something like that, people will be talking about around the watercooler for years… Visually, it’s amazing. I must say that and that’s all I probably should say.”
It’s not hard to see why he’s so excited — the visuals already look stunning, and with such an all-star cast, it is clear that a lot of effort has been put into. Director Alex Garland has quite a few sci-fi successes under his belt as well, including 28 Days, Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go, Dredd, and Ex Machina. Hopefully, the follow-up trailers won’t give too much away — the terrifying thing about Area X is never knowing what you’ll find.
Annihilation debuts in theaters of February 23, 2018.