“Ex Machina” is perhaps one of the unlikeliest hit movies of the year. An original sci-fi film, with nothing in the name of A-list stars, and certainly no prospect for toys or lunchboxes. And yet, great reviews, a savvy campaign by A24, and audiences once again proving if you give them a decent movie, they’ll show up — all of these factors have contributed to Alex Garland‘s picture becoming a sleeper sensation. And while the plot might obviously not lend itself to a followup, the director has made clear he has no desire to try and invent one.
“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.”
So, case closed, and Garland is already figuring out what he might do next. And his eyeballs are on an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer‘s “Annihilation.” “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.” The project is set up at Paramount with producer Scott Rudin, and unlike “Ex Machina,” this has franchise potential as the first book in a trilogy. Here’s the synopsis from the novel:
“Ex Machina” goes wide to two thousand screens this weekend. And if you haven’t seen it yet, support original movies and buy a ticket.