Last year, Alex Garland, writer of cerebral (and occasionally bonkers) sci-fi films 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd made his directorial debut with the Academy Award-winning A.I. mind-bender Ex Machina. Now he’ll follow that up with an adaptation of author Jeff VanderMeer’s sci-fi novel Annihilation, reuniting him with Ex Machina actor Oscar Isaac, who joined the once all-female cast this morning.
Garland also wrote the big-screen adaptation of Annihilation, which is based on the first book in VanderMeer’s “Southern Reach Trilogy.” The story tracks an expedition of women known only by their professional names (the biologist, the psychologist, the anthropologist, the surveyor), the twelfth group of people to explore a mysterious setting called “Area X.”
The film already boasts a crazy-great cast featuring Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Natalie Portman. Given the limited number of dudes in the story, chances are, Isaac will be playing Portman’s husband, the only survivor of an earlier expedition to Area X. Readers might also guess he’s the story’s mysterious lighthouse-keeper character, but at the risk of spoiling things we’ll keep it at that.
VanderMeer giddily announced the new bit of casting news on his Twitter page:
Regardless of who Isaac will play, the movie sounds like semi-spooky but intelligent sci-fi goodness, and Garland seems to be right at home with Isaac in bringing thinky genre projects to the screen. They’re like a medium-sized sci-fi movie dream team, and all signs point a notable second collaboration between the two.
A release date on the movie is unknown, but filming begins in London this spring, with a possible release date in 2017. Keep watching Ex Machina over and over again until then.