Ex Machina's Alex Garland on the darker, stranger elements of his new sci-fi project, Annihilation

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Jul 21, 2015, 1:35 AM EDT (Updated)

Alex Garland is deep in the bizarre biosphere of his next film project, an adapatation of Jeff VanderMeer's Nebula Award-winning novel Annihilation, part of the acclaimed author's Southern Reach Trilogy chronicling the odd events of a doomed expedition into a govenment-quarantined region of the United States known as Area X, and the internal conflicts of its aging bureaucracy observing from the zone's perimeter.

Ex Machina's director, and screenwriter of 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd, Garland recently handed in his first draft of the dark, weird-world story which he claims is a loose adaptation of VanderMeer's novel, but still perfectly recognizable as stemming from that original source material.  

Published concurrently in 2014, Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance delve deep into the fringe science sensibilities and existential elements previously explored in Garland's more noteworthy cinematic works.  The bungled forests, freaky creatures and interdimensional landscapes of this terrifying sci-fi trilogy are the perfect environments for the director to exercise the more ambitious aspects of his fertile imagination.

In a current chat with Movies.com, Garland explained the tone and temperament of his latest creative endeavor:

The one I'm working on now is definitely in the adrenaline-ized mode. The film I'm trying to make at the moment is based on a novel by Jeff VanderMeer and it's called Annihilation. It's in the sort of darker, stranger, propulsive space. It's more like Dredd and 28 Days“in the sort of darker, stranger, propulsive space. It’s more like Dredd and 28 Days Later. Never Let Me Go and Ex Machina basically are reflective, quiet, talky movies, and this has some of the same sort of propulsion, I’d say, of 28 Days and some of the hallucinogenic aspects of Dredd, but they’re way more ramped up. Way, way more ramped up.

Garland plans to take the helm as the film's writer and director as a follow-up to his directorial debut with Ex Machina Annihilation is set to begin filming in April 2016, with Natalie Portman currently signed on to star as "the biologist."

Have you read any of VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, and how do you think Garland matches up with this alien assimilation saga?

(Via Shock Til You Drop)

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