Ex Machina director Alex Garland on his new sci-fi flick, Annihilation

Contributed by
Jan 5, 2016, 2:32 PM EST (Updated)

After blowing us away with Ex Machina, writer-director Alex Garland is on the verge of kicking off his next sci-fi flick. So, what can we expect?

Garland (Dredd, 28 Days Later) has been involved in some excellent sci-fi storytelling over the years, but didn’t really land on the mainstream radar until his directorial debut, Ex Machina. With that film (deservedly) riding some awards buzz, the writer-director is gearing up to bring Jeff VanderMeer’s book Annihilation to life. If you’re unfamiliar, the sci-fi trilogy follows a biologist who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t seem to apply.

Garland said the film came together after a friend introduced him to the book, and it hit on some similar themes he was already wanting to tackle with his next project. So, basically, a perfect fit. Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez and breakout Creed star Tessa Thompson are attached to star, and Garland revealed that the project is set to start shooting in the U.K. in May.

Here’s an excerpt from his comments to Deadline about how the film came together, and what he learned from Ex Machina and Dredd:

“I was cutting Ex Machina and had a particular story that I was interested in telling, and I was talking to one of the producers of Ex Machina, Scott Rudin, about it and kind of laying out what I wanted to do and what interested me about it, and he said, ‘you should read this book, Annihilation,’ which he had found. It was nothing to do with me. He just put it in front of me and there was a perfect kind of dovetail to something that I was interested in doing and something that existed in this book. The thing in some respects was already set up and I came onto it after the book had been found by Scott…

I’m not superstitious about those things [adapting the first book in a trilogy]. All it is, is a few years ago when I was working on Dredd I had that conceived as a trilogy, and I now think having attempted to do that, and the thing was effectively stopped from being a trilogy because it just was a disaster at the box office, I think the thing to do is focus on the film you’re making, and not really think about sequels and trilogies. So, my focus is to make this film right and that’s the thing that’s in my horizon.”

Garland is one of the hottest filmmakers in Hollywood right now, and we can’t wait to see what he can do with a bigger canvas via Annihilation. If it’s half as good as Ex Machina, we’re sold.

(Via Deadline)