Annihilation director Alex Garland revealed that his novel The Beach is getting a new adaptation. The Beach first came out in 1997, years before Garland broke into movies as the writer of 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd. Garland's first film as a director, the 2015 sci-fi movie Ex Machina, scored big with critics and audiences. Garland has followed that up with Annihilation, a sci-fi/horror movie based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer.
Set in Thailand, Garland's The Beach touches on themes of individuality and ecological responsibility. The story concerns a young adventure seeker joining a small group of fellow travelers living an idyllic existence in an isolated stretch of unspoiled wilderness. Eventually, the young man discovers that living out his dreams isn't as easy as dreaming them. In 2000, The Beach became a movie directed by Danny Boyle starring Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio at the time wanted to veer away from blockbusters like Titanic and into more challenging fare. The Beach didn't do much to help DiCaprio's critical reputation, as it got lukewarm reviews. The movie did however manage to make $144 million worldwide, mostly thanks to DiCaprio's name.
In a recent Reddit AMA, The Beach author Alex Garland was asked about the possibility of a new adaptation of the book. Surprisingly, Garland revealed that indeed, a new adaptation currently is in the works (via The Playlist). Here's the full exchange:
Garland offers up no details about who might be adapting The Beach. However, in 2012, reports surfaced that Andrew Miller would bring the book to the screen as a TV series on FOX. Perhaps this is the adaptation Garland is referring to. As there's been no news about Miller's version since 2012, it's also possible the project has passed into other hands. Incidentally, Miller also worked on the script for the Tremors TV series coming up on Syfy with Kevin Bacon back in the lead.
Clearly, many fans of Garland's The Beach didn't like the version Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio brought to screens. Perhaps a TV series would do more justice to the characters and delve deeper into Garland's themes. Meanwhile, Garland continues earning rave reviews for his film work. Like Ex Machina, his new film Annihilation is being hailed as an example of truly thoughtful and engaging sci-fi. The movie has also received kudos for rising above cliche to deliver a genuinely creepy and unsettling experience. Unfortunately for most filmgoers outside the U.S., they won't get to see Annihilation on the big screen. Paramount sold most international rights to the film to Netflix, believing the movie too far-out and "intellectual" for general audiences.
Next up for Garland after Annihilation is a new TV project for FX called Devs. The director recently described Devs as "a tech story" about "a particular aspect of technology" that he finds troubling.
- Annihilation (2018) release date: Feb 23, 2018