Alex Garland’s ‘Annihilation’ Eyes ‘Creed’ Star Tessa Thompson
Ex Machina writer / director Alex Garland seems to be going for the one-two punch (sorry) with Annihilation, his next sci-fi project which already boasts Natalie Portman and Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez in leading roles. And as if we couldn’t get any more excited for Garland’s next film, the director is currently eyeing Creed star Tessa Thompson, who was so great in Ryan Coogler’s Rocky sequel that she could headline her own spinoff (or at least make a full album, in character).
The Wrap reports that Thompson is in talks for a role opposite Portman and Rodriguez in Annihilation, Garland’s follow-up to 2015's hit sci-fi flick Ex Machina. Thompson has emerged as one of our most exciting young actors thanks to roles in Selma, Dear White People and Creed — the latter of which allowed her to showcase some serious vocal skills.
Annihilation is based on the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, and follows four women on a dangerous expedition to a mysterious area of land where nature has reclaimed everything in sight and 11 previous expeditions met with horrific ends. Here’s the official synopsis from Amazon:
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner [sic], and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers―they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding―but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
VanderMeer’s novel not only features the sort of rich, deeply dark sci-fi at which Garland excels, but it has a primarily female cast, offering some interesting thematic possibilities.
Annihilation will begin filming in the spring and will likely hit theaters in 2017. Thompson can be seen next in HBO’s Westworld.