A new behind-the-scenes video highlights the all-female cast for the movie Annihilation. Annihilation is based on the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy by author Jeff VanderMeer, which follows an expedition into a mysterious disaster zone known as Area X. The laws of nature don’t apply inside this zone, which is filled with mutated animals and related dangers. Human beings don’t tend to fare well inside of it either, with past expeditions having lead to madness, disappearances, and death.
Director Alex Garland (Ex Machina) has already stated that the Annihilation film won’t be completely faithful to the original book. Those who are familiar with the source material have already spotted key differences between the book and film in the various Annihilation trailers and TV spots released to date.
The film stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson as the members of the latest expedition into Area X, and the above video shows the film's all-female main cast in action. Most of the critics who have already seen Annihilation are hailing it as a thoughtful, mind-bending modern sci-fi classic, praising the performances, cinematography, and overall direction in particular.
While the film is eagerly anticipated among sci-fi fans, Annihilation has raised eyebrows due to its strange release strategy. While the film will be released in theaters by Paramount in the U.S., Canada and China, it will go direct to Netflix in the rest of the world, a mere 17 days after its initial theatrical bow. This is the result of a behind-the-scenes conflict between producers David Ellison and Scott Rudin; Ellison wanted to recut Annihilation and make it more commercial following a test screening, while Rudin stood by Garland’s vision. In the end, this compromise led to the Netflix deal, as the studio was apparently worried the film was "too brainy" for mainstream audiences.
Paramount also had a poor year in 2017, with several high-profile flops like Ghost In The Shell and Monster Trucks. Moving ahead the studio wants to focus on sure-fire hits like Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and cut back on riskier bets. For instance, the studio felt they had something of a dud on their hands with The Cloverfield Paradox, and decided to sell it to Netflix for a high price. That’s a gamble that paid off for all concerned, though the mediocre reviews suggest audiences might be less trusting when Overlord (aka. Cloverfield 4) is released later in 2018.
While Annihilation is based on a trilogy of books, Garland has repeatedly stated he hasn’t read the other novels and has no interest in making sequels. Time will tell how viewers respond to the movie and if there’s even an appetite for more, but for the time being Annihilation doesn’t seem to lend itself naturally to becoming a franchise.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- Annihilation (2018) release date: Feb 23, 2018