Annihilation filmmaker Alex Garland has set up his newest project, the fantasy film The Toymaker's Secret, with Paloma Baeza set to direct. Garland's Annihilation released earlier this year to critical acclaim, but rather soft box office returns. Overseas audiences didn't even get to experience the film on the big screen either, as Paramount sold the international rights to Netflix.
With Annihilation struggling at the box office, and Garland reportedly clashing with studio brass over the movie's cut and distribution, the inventive director will next take his talents to television. FX will be the beneficiary of Garland's skills, as he develops the tech world series Devs for the network. Garland described Devs as being "about a particular aspect of technology at the moment which is to do with very, very big data and very powerful processing power, and what can happen when you put those two things together."
Garland has also mapped out his next feature film project as writer and producer, but this time around he'll hand off directing duties. As reported by THR, Tri-Star Pictures will produce Garland's fantasy film The Toymaker’s Secret, with Paloma Baeza set to direct. In addition to being an actress and short film director, Baeza also happens to be Garland's wife. Her prior directing credits include Poles Apart, an animated film that won Best Short at the 2018 BAFTA awards. Set in the Arctic, Poles Apart concerns a starving polar bear that meets a grizzly bear and must choose between befriending the new arrival or eating him.
The Toymaker's Secret reportedly mixes CGI and live-action for a fantasy about kids' toys, brought magically to life by a Victorian-era toymaker, that have lived secretly in the same house up until the present day. When a mother and daughter move into the house, they find themselves in the middle of a fantastic predicament. The story is described as similar in tone to the classic romantic fantasy film The Princess Bride. In other words, whimsical and perhaps a bit wry.
Though The Toymaker's Secret won't be another Alex Garland directorial effort, it will still have the benefit of his writing talents. In addition to his two films as director, Garland also penned the scripts for Dredd (which he reportedly also directed uncredited), Never Let Me Go and 28 Days Later. He also published the novel The Beach, which according to him may get a new adaptation.
We'll keep you posted as new developments emerge about The Toymaker's Secret.