Does Alex Garland’s latest directorial effort, the Natalie Portman-starring sci-fi/horror film Annihilation, have an end-credits scene? We break down whether viewers should wait for an end credits scene.
After getting started in Hollywood as a screenwriter making a name for himself with sci-fi films like 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd, Alex Garland made his directorial debut in 2014 with Ex Machina, which he also wrote. The independent sci-fi film was a critical hit and earned Garland an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. His next directorial effort is this year’s Annihilation, an adaptation of the same-named Jeff VanderMeer novel, the first installment of the author’s Southern Reach trilogy. Annihilation boasts a strong main cast including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny and many fans of the books would no doubt like to see the story continue. So, does Annihilation have a post-credits scene setting up future movies?
Related: Who’s in the Cast of Annihilation?
Although a movie’s credits are always worth sitting through to see who was involved in the making of a film and for a chance to continue listening to the score, Annihilation does not have an end-credits scene. Rather, the film wraps up with a mysterious scene between Portman’s Lena and her character’s husband, Kane (Oscar Isaac). The ending of Annihilation leaves a lot to be interpreted, and arguably sets up more to come from a potential Southern Reach movie trilogy, but there’s no post-credits stinger to hype up fans.
The lack of a post-credits scene in Annihilation plays into Garland’s typical style of filmmaking – which is to say, he’s not necessarily a fan of doing sequels. In fact, Garland said he has “zero plans” to adapt the Annihilation sequels to film, and he’s not even read the novels. That’s not to say Paramount and Skydance won’t adapt the other two novels in the Southern Reach trilogy, Authority and Acceptance. Certainly, if Annihilation is a bigger success at the box office than Paramount was anticipating, the studio may be willing to green light an adaptation of Authority, though it seems unlikely Garland would return to write and direct the film.
With that said, Annihilation’s path to release was fraught with conflict, leading to an atypical release strategy from Paramount. Reportedly, there were disagreements between producers David Ellison and Scott Rudin over the film, with Ellison calling for edits to be made because it was “too intellectual” and “too complicated.” However, Rudin defended Garland’s vision for the film and had final say over the final cut of Annihilation. Still, Paramount struck a deal with Netflix so Annihilation will release theatrically only in the United States, Canada, and China, and on the streaming service in all other international markets. This deal hints that Paramount doesn’t have a great deal of faith in Annihilation’s potential at the box office, so it seems unlikely they’d be willing to make a sequel.
Still, if the movie proves to be more financially successful in the U.S., Canada, and China than the studio anticipated – and, considering the positive early reviews of Annihilation, that’s certainly possible – Paramount may be willing to adapt Authority to film. But for now, fans of VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy shouldn’t get their hopes up for an Annihilation post-credits scene setting up a sequel.
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