A new featurette for Annihilation explores 'The Shimmer', a phenomenon that could wipe out humanity. Annihilation is an adaptation of the sci-fi novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, which follows a team of female scientists as they head into an environmental disaster zone known as Area X. Previous expeditions into the zone have all resulted in death, and once inside the group finds the wildlife and nature in Area X has been wildly mutated.
The much-anticipated movie adaptation stars Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Issac and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Annihilation director Alex Garland (Ex Machina) has openly stated the movie isn’t totally faithful to the book, and that he’s made a lot of changes to the story. While Annihilation is the first in a series of books dubbed the Southern Reach trilogy, the director has also said he’s never read the other books, and the movie is intended as a standalone.
An IGN exclusive featurette on Annihilation explores Area X's 'Shimmer' effect in greater detail. This glowing phenomenon circles the zone, and is responsible for altering the laws of nature inside it, resulting in freakish animal crossbreeds and slowly driving those inside crazy. The Shimmer keeps growing too, and will soon start devouring entire cities.
Despite Annihilation being one of the most anticipated sci-fi movies of 2018, it recently made headlines for its bizarre distribution deal. Paramount will give the film a theatrical bow in America and China, but the movie will then go straight Netflix in the rest of the world – a mere 17 days after its initial cinema release. This seems to be partly due to a creative dispute between producers David Ellison and Scott Rudin; the former reacted to bad test screenings by wanting to recut the film and make it more audience-friendly, while Rudin refused and stood by Garland’s edit.
Garland, for his part, has said he’s disappointed with the Netflix decision, and that Annihilation was intended to be shown on the big screen. The decision may also be down to Paramount not having faith in the commercial prospects of the film. The studio had a bad year in 2017 due to the disappointing performances of Ghost In The Shell, mother! and Baywatch, and probably feel Annihilation’s mixture of cerebral sci-fi and measured pacing isn’t likely to score big numbers.
The studio is seeking guaranteed hits right now, and apparently, the studio’s lack of faith in upcoming Cloverfield sequel God Particle could be the reason it ends up on Netflix too. None the less, sci-fi fans are eagerly anticipating the release of Annihilation – regardless of the platform.
- Annihilation (2018) release date: Feb 23, 2018