Alex Garland has firmly established himself as one of the top creators of science fiction in movies today. As a writer, he wrote the scripts for zombie film 28 Days Later, the outer space mystery Sunshine, the dark, dystopian Never Let Me Go and the futuristic comic book adaptation Dredd. Garland made his memorable debut as a director in 2014 with his creepy exploration of artificial life Ex Machina, starring future Tomb Raider Alicia Vikander.

Considering Garland’s track record in the science fiction area, lots of folks are eagerly awaiting his next film, an adaptation of the first part of novelist Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy entitled Annihilation. The project stars Natalie Portman as a member of a scientific expedition into a strange nether-region where the laws of nature no longer work as they are supposed to. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez play Portman’s fellow expedition members.

Ex Machina star Oscar Isaac also appears in the film which was given a preview at CinemaCon, where The Wrap was on hand to witness the footage and provide an account. Here’s a rundown of the most important details:

  • Natalie Portman welcomes back her husband, Oscar Isaac, who has been missing for 12 months.
  • Isaac seems like a different man and mysteriously won’t tell Portman where he was or how he managed to find his way back home.
  • Isaac begins spitting blood and an ambulance is called.
  • Portman wakes up in some kind of institution where she is told that Isaac is gone forever.
  • In the institution, Portman is enlisted to join the expedition to the mysterious place where the laws of nature are suspended.
  • The expedition is made up of Portman’s biologist character, who narrates the film, plus an anthropologist, a surveyor and a psychologist who becomes the group’s leader.
  • The audience was on the edge of their seats as they watched Portman’s strange and confounding situation unfold.

Natalie Portman cast in Annihilation Ex Machina Director’s Annihilation: CinemaCon Footage Description

By the sound of it, Isaac’s character vanishes from the movie pretty early on, the same fate that was at one point intended for his Poe Dameron character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens before Isaac managed to talk J.J. Abrams into letting him live. Annihilation promises to be another mysterious and atmospheric film like Ex Machina, at least going by images shared from the set.

Unfortunately for audiences who can’t wait to witness the whole movie for themselves, Paramount says the film’s release date has been pushed back from 2017 to 2018 (via Steven Weintraub). Hopefully this is a case of Alex Garland being very meticulous in wanting to get his movie just right, and isn’t a sign that the production is in any trouble.

Next: Annihilation Set Images

Annihilation is expected to arrive in theaters in 2018. We’ll let you know when an official release date is set.

Source: The Wrap

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