From a distance, 2018 seems like an embarassment of upcoming riches for nerds, and Annihilation is a big part of that. Adapted from the first novel of luminous author Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, the ramp-up to release has been careful with its trailers, giving us just enough to want to see more.
VanderMeer is an incredible talent with a penchant for darkness, chanelling Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, and others throughout his prolific career, always matching a wide-reaching imagination, mesmerizing writing style, and a dark underbelly of dread. 2014’s Southern Reach Trilogy (and Annihilation in particular) brought him some of his most pronounced acclaim and success, and the marriage of the modern classic to director Alex Garland (of Ex Machina fame) seems destined for greatness.
As if that wasn’t enough, Annihilation is being headed by a strong cast of women, including Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, and everyone’s favorite valkyrie (also, let’s just say The Valkyrie, in case there’s any confusion), Tessa Thompson. The film also stars Oscar Isaac (returning to collaborate with Garland) and the tireless, timeless screen veteran Jennifer Jason Leigh.
In the story, a team of four women set out on an expedition into Area X, a misunderstood region of lethal, bizarre anomalies and contradictory aspects to the known world. The newest trailer offers up more examples of the surreal flora and fauna they encounter, including a four-legged creature that is probably not indexed on Wikipedia at this moment.
Annihilation releases in North American theaters on February 23rd, and is written and directed by Alex Garland. As a sidenote, there looks to be an international release schedule set for Netflix as well—something Garland spoke about today—but I think any fan of surreal, cutting-edge science fiction will want to see this properly on the big screen.
Check out the new trailer below: