Annihilation’s writer/director Alex Garland already has plenty of projects lined up after his adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy’s first third - and he has no intentions of looking back. While the film was met with much critical acclaim, but its box office hasn’t been spectacular and the studio behind it hasn’t said anything in way of a sequel. Now, Garland has. But only to deny his involvement in one.
In an interview with IndieWire, Garland said “I’ve got no objection to someone else doing that, but I’m not interested in the idea of a sequel. I feel like we made this movie and this is the movie we made. When the thing is done, I am done with it,” Garland said, not just about Annihilation, but about his films in general.
“I instantly start moving on, so I don’t even have an opinion on an Annihilation sequel. All the way through I was clear with everyone, from the studio to the cast, I told everyone that I didn’t really see it as part of a franchise. My goal was to make this film and do the best job I can. I didn’t even conceptualize it as the start of a trilogy.”
"Sequels are just not something I’m interested in doing,” Garland said. “It’s like when you don’t like steak, you don’t make the decision not to eat steak, you just don’t eat steak. I just don’t do sequels.” The headiness of his film could’ve translated to a very weird series of follow-ups, but if anything, it will anyways since it proved that Garland could handle that kind of sci-fi trippiness in other properties. That could lead to the mile-a-minute director to Alan Moore’s wild Swamp Thing run or other similarly psychedelic adaptation opportunities.
Annihilation may not need a direct sequel to see its influences on Garland’s work. The aesthetic doors it opened, by proving Garland could visually craft surrealism in a way palatable to critics and sci-fi audiences alike, mean that Garland’s next projects could all have elements of the film without repeating what he’s already done.