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SYFY WIRE Alex Garland

'Annihilation' director Alex Garland's next project is A24's near-future thriller 'Civil War'

The cast will feature Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Cailee Spaeny.

By Josh Weiss
Annihilation (1)

Alex Garland — the visionary filmmaker behind Ex Machina, Annihilation, and Devs — is gearing up for his next genre head trip. The writer-director has officially partnered with A24 once again for his next big screen project: Civil War.

No, this isn't some kind of sequel to the Marvel Studios movie, so don't expect Iron Man and Captain America to be punching each other onscreen. While plot details are thin at the moment, the upcoming project is said to be set in "a near future America." Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man), Wagner Moura (Narcos), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Dune), and Cailee Spaeny (Devs) have all been cast so far.

Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and Gregory Goodman will produce alongside A24, which is also primed to release Garland's most recent cinematic endeavor, the horror-centric Men, later this year. First announced last January, Men co-stars Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl) and Rory Kinnear (No Time to Die) and tells the story of a woman who decides to holiday in the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband.

Alex Garland GETTY

Garland started his Hollywood career writing screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine — both of which were directed by Danny Boyle. He made his directorial debut with 2014's Ex Machina, a chilling and atmospheric tale about the dangers of artificial intelligence. The film nabbed Garland an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay and took home the prize for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

His second effort, 2018's Annihilation, was based on the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy of novels. Natalie Portman starred in the borderline Lovecraftian feature about a scientific expedition into a quarantine zone mutated beyond recognition. Despite rave reviews, the adaptation didn't catch on at the box office, bringing in $43 million globally against a production budget of $40 million.

Two years later, Garland headed for the world of television with FX's Devs, a cerebral and suspense-filled miniseries centered around a miraculous super-computer capable of digital time travel and even recreating human consciousness. Chatting with SYFY WIRE around the premiere, Garland, who wrote and directed all eight episodes, described the small screen effort as a cautionary tale about the downsides of modern technological advancement and the multi-billion dollar companies that oversee it.

"We do this sh**, and then later, we think, 'Hang on, maybe we shouldn't have. Let's go back and try and figure it out,'" he explained. "And I feel that about the size of these companies that have become like nation-states, that nothing could stop them getting that big, but now they have [gotten that] big, [and] we need to look at it."

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