Could Alex Garland adapt Alan Moore? Annihilation director expresses interest in Swamp Thing, Halo Jones

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Feb 12, 2018

Annihilation director Alex Garland may have his sights set on comics legend Alan Moore judging from his comments on a Reddit 'Ask Me Anything' thread this week. Answering fan questions this past Sunday, the writer-director of Ex Machina and screenwriter of 28 Days Later and Dredd named two comics associated with Moore as possible dream projects.

First up, asked which comic book character he would most like to write and direct, Garland named Swamp Thing, the horror anti-hero and plant elemental from DC Comics. Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, the character is perhaps most famously linked to Moore's redefining mid-'80s comics run with artists Stephen Bissette and John Totleben. Swamp Thing made his big screen debut before Moore's run, in an eponymous 1982 movie by director Wes Craven, and returned for 1989's Return of the Swamp Thing and an early '90s spin-off TV show on the SciFi Channel.

Asked what comics Garland would be keen to adapt or see adapted from outside the Marvel and DC stables of characters, Garland suggested another Alan Moore work, The Ballad of Halo Jones. Published in the pages of 2000 AD around the same time as Moore's Swamp Thing run, Halo Jones is a sci-fi story chronicling one woman's rise from obscurity to notoriety, with art by Ian Gibson. 

Source: Simon and Schuster

Garland stressed, "I also don't want to see [Halo Jones] adapted," indicating he doesn't really think anyone at all should touch it. That makes Swamp Thing the more credible project, as it belongs entirely to Warner Bros, while the rights to Halo Jones are contested.

Though Garland first made his name as a novelist with the 1996 backpacking drama The Beach, he told users he has no plans for further novels, as he finds screenwriting "much more fun and less isolating." His plans beyond the upcoming Annihilation include an eight-part TV series for FX that he's previously described as "technology based sci-fi" that takes our world as it is now and draws "sort of inferences and conclusions from it". During the AMA he revealed that the series is called Devs, and is set in San Francisco.

Garland also says he has no plans to return to Dredd, or to do a sequel to Ex Machina, and although he has ideas for what else he could do within the 28 Days Later zombie movie franchise he "doubt[s] it will ever happen." Perhaps more plausible is a new adaptation of The Beach, previously brought to the screen with director Danny Boyle and star Leonardo DiCaprio in 2000. Garland notes that "someone very talented is currently working on a possible adaptation," which may mean a TV version. Fox was previously reported to be developing such a show in 2012.

Annihilation, Alex Garland's latest movie as writer-director, is scheduled for release on February 23 from Paramount Pictures and Netflix. The movie stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson.