Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars Oscar Isaac is reuniting with Ex Machina director Alex Garland for his next feature, sci-fi thriller Annihilation, reports Tracking Board. Let’s hope lightning can strike twice and the team-up produces another SF film as riveting and amazing-looking as Ex Machina.
Isaac joins Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson in the cast. The film adapts the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Ranch trilogy, which was published in 2014. It’s about a biologist (Portman) who, in seeking answers to her husband’s tragic disappearance, volunteers for a government expedition into an area sealed off as an environmental disaster zone. What she discovers, however, is pristine wilderness, and a mysterious dark force within it.
“I was cutting Ex Machina and had a particular story that I was interested in telling,” says Garland about the genesis of the project in a Deadline interview, “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.”
Annihilation starts filming later this spring in London.