In the wake of Ex Machina‘s rather too prescient look at tech bros and their opinions of women, it wasn’t clear what Alex Garland, the writer and director, was going to do next. The answer, it turns out, is turn Jeff VanderMeer’s unnerving, apocalyptic novel Annihilation into a movie. And we’ve just gotten our first look at it, in this creepy teaser trailer.
The plot of Annihilation follows an unnamed biologist (Natalie Portman), part of a team of women (including Jennifer Jason Leigh) sent into Area X, part of the American South in the near future that’s been blocked off by an unknown force. The area, which has been completely evacuated, is home to bizarre mutations and a notorious reputation; exploration teams go in, but they don’t come back, or if they do, they come back wrong, riddled with cancers. The team biologist also has a personal motive; her husband (Oscar Isaac) was part of an expedition, and while something that looks like him came back, she’s not convinced it was really him.
Garland has a fairly ambitious task. While Annihilation is a short book, it’s a creepy, vivid, and complex one and it’s not interested in answering questions either. We’ll see how Garland tackles it in February.