Alex Garland first made a name for himself in Hollywood as the screenwriter of “28 Days Later,” “Sunshine,” “Never Let Me Go,” and “Dredd,” but it wasn’t until he decided to step into the director’s chair with “Ex Machina” that he became a household name for cinephiles. His 2014 directorial breakthrough was a thrilling and cerebral slice of science fiction that earned massive critical acclaim and an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. IndieWire even named it one of the greatest sci-fi movies of the 21st century.
Garland is finally returning early next year with “Annihilation,” an even bigger science-fiction movie based on the Jeff VanderMeer novel of the same name. The film stars Natalie Portman as the head of a group of female scientists who venture into an environmental disaster zone in order to save her husband, played by Oscar Isaac. The actor was one of the main players in “Ex Machina,” and he’s joined by the likes of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson for Garland’s latest.
“I found the atmosphere incredibly strong and I liked the kind of dream state that it created and put me in,” the director told Entertainment Weekly about reading the novel for the first time. “It had all sorts of qualities that I found really interesting. I thought immediately, Yes, I’d like to try this.”
“Annihilation” opens in theaters February 23, 2018 via Paramount Pictures. Watch the first trailer below.