FOUR women to star as scientists in upcoming sci-fi film by ‘Ex Machina’ director

After the engrossing sci-fi psychological thriller “Ex Machina,” what”s next for director Alex Garland? Another engrossing sci-fi psychological thriller…this time starring four women. As scientists.

PRAISE BE, 2016!

Garland told io9 back in July of last year that “Annihilation” would be his next project and he hoped they”d be filming by April of 2016. So far, so good. The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same series by Jeff VanderMeer and it promises to be a terrifying good time.

In the novel, a mysterious patch of land known as Area X appeared three decades ago. Cut off from the rest of civilization, many expeditions have been sent into the dangerous territory. Save for the first group, none of have ended well. The plot centers around the four scientists – the Biologist, the Anthropologist, the Psychologist, and the Surveyor – who make up the 12th expedition. The story is told through the Biologist”s field journal. After discovering a quote about the “strangling vine” written in living vines in a subterranean stairwell, things quickly go sideways for the group.

So far Natalie Portman (“Jane Got A Gun”) and Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) are attached. The Wrap announced Tessa Thompson (“Creed”) is closing in on the third lead, but there”s no word yet on who will round out the cast. Nor who will play which role. Though if I were a betting gal, I”d put my money on Portman as our unreliable narrator, the Biologist.

However, in that same io9 interview Garland went on to say his adaptation of “Annihilation” would be loose. So if you”re the type of person (like me) who always thinks the book is better than the movie…and you haven”t read it yet…perhaps hold off until after opening day lest you be frustrated by the changes. Advice I wish I”d had before I powered through “World War Z” a month before the film came out.

“Annihilation” may hit theaters sometime in 2017.