Annihilation director Alex Garland has stated he has no plans whatsoever regarding a possible sequel. Annihilation is an adaptation of a book by author Jeff VanderMeer and tells the story of an all-female team of scientists who venture into Area X, a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply and is filled with dangerous creatures. The movie version stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok).
Annihilation recently raised eyebrows thanks to its unusual release strategy; Paramount will release the film in theaters in the U.S. and China, while Netflix will start streaming the film internationally 17 days later. The film’s odd release is a result of creative disagreements between producers David Ellison and Scott Rudin, with the former wanting to make sweeping changes to the film following a poor test screening, while the latter decided to support Garland’s desire to release it as is.
While Annihilation is the first novel in the Southern Reach trilogy, Garland states in an interview with Coming Soon that he has no plans to return for a sequel, and that he never even considered the other books while working on the project.
I’ve got zero plans, I never did. At the point I wrote the script, and we were way into the process of starting to make the movie, Jeff was still writing books two and three. I read book one in Galley form — it hadn’t been published yet — and so I did not think about those other two books and also I don’t mind the idea of other people working on franchises, I’ve got no judgment about it, it's fine, but it’s not something I want to do. What we were talking about in terms Ex Machina to Annihilation or Never Let Me Go to Dredd or 28 Days Later to Sunshine or whatever it happens to be, I actively do not want to be in the same world I just spent three years in, I actively want to do something else, so the whole idea of sequels is not one that appeals to me in the slightest. I never had any desire to — that’s no disrespect to anyone who does want to do that or Jeff’s trilogy or anything — I’m just talking from a personal point of view, that’s not my scene.
Outside of acting as executive producer on 28 Weeks Later, Garland hasn’t been involved with a sequel to his own work. There were plans for a trilogy of Dredd movies, but despite the film receiving positive reviews and subsequently gaining a large cult following, it proved to be a box-office dud, so no sequels emerged. A TV reboot of the franchise called Mega-City One is currently in development without Garland’s involvement.
The other two books in the Southern Reach trilogy – Authority and Acceptance – explore the world of the series in greater depth, but it remains to be seen if Annihilation will be successful enough to justify a sequel. With its mix of surreal visuals and heady sci-fi concepts, the film is perhaps not the obvious choice for a new franchise, but it might prove unique enough to strike a chord with viewers. Based on his comments above, it seems very unlikely Garland would consider a return for a sequel to Annihilation, which would be a real shame.
Source: Coming Soon
- Annihilation (2018) release date: Feb 23, 2018