Author Jeff VanderMeer‘s Southern Reach trilogy is getting the film treatment. At least that’s the case for the first novel in the series, Annihilation, reports Variety.
The title alone gives us an idea of what to expect: destruction. The story revolves around four women — an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist and a biologist — who set out on an expedition to map a piece of uninhabited, quarantined terrain known as Area X.
The trailer, starring Natalie Portman as the biologist and our narrator, begins with her struggle to describe what she saw out there:
We should point out, this is the twelfth group to set out on this mission. For the earlier teams, it did not go well, resulting in suicide, murder and aggressive cancer. So why keep at it? Human civilization is running out of natural resources, and Area X might just contain what it needs to survive. Early on it’s described as “a pristine, Edenic landscape.”
But, no matter how many times they try, the exploration doesn’t pan out. So again, why keep taking the risk?
In the above trailer, Portman’s character ponders that same question. It turns out her husband, played by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina), was in one of the earlier groups. She asks herself, “Why did my husband volunteer for a suicide mission?” She steps up for the dangerous assignment, but seems to be on a mission that may differ from the higher-ups’ objectives.
The film, written and directed by Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland, is now complete and confirmed for a 2018 release (February 24). Garland explained in earlier interviews that he considers this a stand-alone film, and not necessarily the first of a trilogy, reports ComingSoon.net.
In addition to Portman and Isaac, you can also look for Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny.
What do you think is out there?