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ANNIHILATION (2018) Pre-Release

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Never read the books, but after Ex Machina, Garland is on my list of writer-directors who get my immediate consideration.


A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply.
Director: Alex Garland
Writers: Alex Garland (adaptation), Jeff VanderMeer (novel)
Stars: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez (subject to change)


http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/6/10724006/alex-garland-annihilation-natalie-portman-vandermeer
post #2 of 55

The books are fantastic and completely unsuited for a film, which makes me super interested in what this will even be.

 

 

Spoiler-y talk... (Click to show)

So much of the books deal with the lack of identity given to the characters and the way that that distance, between the characters and the reader and between the characters themselves, fuels everything else. All of the characters are so stripped down that even the main character is hard to truly understand despite the fact she is also the narrator.

 

It will be an interesting experience as the art of filmmaking will add definitive qualities to the story, from just seeing Area X(which seems an impossible task), all the way down to the very act of acting itself. I mean even just casting Natalie Portman as the Biologist(I assume) solidifies so much about the character that the book actively keeps away from the reader.

post #3 of 55
Not just Ex Machina, but he was rumoured to have a strong role behind the camera of Dredd, and with having penned that and Sunshine, Never Let Me Go, and 28 Days Later...strongest writer of sci-fi films in my book. And Vandermeer's novels are terrific. This jumped to the top of my list.
post #4 of 55
post #5 of 55

Interesting, though there is no major male character in the first book.

 

I really can't wait to see how this is adapted, it just seems so impossible to pull off.

post #6 of 55
This finally has a release date. February 23 2018. I'm really looking forward to this just based on my love of Ex Machina. I've started reading the book recently. Hopefully we get a trailer soon.
post #7 of 55

The books are magnificent and seemingly impossible to adapt to film.  If Garland wasn't one of the top minds in the history of sci-fi filmmaking, I'd think this was a terrible idea.  Since he is, I imagine it has a chance at being really divisive amongst fans of the genre, some of whom consider it a masterpiece and some of whom think it is dull as dishwater.  Can't see any chance at the BO.  I'd like to be proven wrong, of course.

post #8 of 55

Hadn't even heard of this project until I saw this thread. Garland has oodles of goodwill from me on Ex Machina alone, though I'm a fan of his other work.

 

I'm going to stay away from the source material. I went into Ex Machina pretty blind and was very glad I had. I'm sure that'll be the case for this.

post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post
 

Hadn't even heard of this project until I saw this thread. Garland has oodles of goodwill from me on Ex Machina alone, though I'm a fan of his other work.

 

I'm going to stay away from the source material. I went into Ex Machina pretty blind and was very glad I had. I'm sure that'll be the case for this.

 

I'm not some kind of "the book is always better!" purist, but in this case, the book is so unique (and relatively short) that I would recommend reading it before trailers and whatnot can define certain things in your mind.  It's almost impossible to spoil anyway, since the plot is so oblique.  It's kind of like Arrival, if the aliens had no interest in actually communicating with us.

post #10 of 55
So I was looking to see if I could find any info on when a trailer for this would be coming. Instead I found several reactions to a test screening a couple months back. Lots of positive reactions. I need to finish the book soon.
post #11 of 55

I just started the final book in the trilogy.  I still have absolutely no idea how you translate these books, which are all about the limits and alchemy of language, into a visual medium.  If anyone could do it, it would be Garland, but still.  Very curious about this, in the way you can only be when there is a real chance for it to be a disaster. 

post #12 of 55
Which book did you prefer between the first 2?
post #13 of 55

The first, I guess.  The novelty of the concept and style was more striking.  The second is also very good. 

post #14 of 55
post #15 of 55

Looks terrific, unsurprisingly. Cannot wait.

post #16 of 55

Some really striking imagery in that teaser.  I hope it's an accurate reflection of the tone, and not a marketing bait-and-switch.

post #17 of 55

Wow. This just jumped up to the top of my Must See list for 2018.  Really nice to see Jennifer Jason Leigh onscreen again.


Edited by MrSaxon - 9/27/17 at 12:23pm
post #18 of 55
Looks like a companion piece to ARRIVAL. Can't wait.
post #19 of 55
This reminds me of a twenty year old short story about a slowly spreading multicolored fractal growth converting an african jungle, and the woman investigating it. 'It's benign and here to help change us' kind of thing. Not the same author, though.
post #20 of 55
looks nice!
post #21 of 55
What?!? How did I not know they were making movies of these books? I love this trilogy! Holy shit, so excited!
post #22 of 55

Looks lovely!  I need to read the trilogy too.  Sound a lot like J.G. Ballard's apocalypse novels.

post #23 of 55

Jennifer Jason Leigh is having quite the career revival right now.

post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
 

Jennifer Jason Leigh is having quite the career revival right now.


Yes, though she'd probably prefer that long-delayed AMITYVILLE movie she's in wasn't coming out for real next month and remained on the shelf.

post #25 of 55

I am sold! 

post #26 of 55

I'm still not convinced there's a way to translate what makes the novels so striking to a cinematic medium, but at the very least this will damn sure look purdy failing to do so.

post #27 of 55

She-Stalker? 

post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

I'm still not convinced there's a way to translate what makes the novels so striking to a cinematic medium, but at the very least this will damn sure look purdy failing to do so.

I said the same thing about Story of Your Life, and ARRIVAL turned out pretty fantastic. I haven't read the works this is based on so excited to discover it.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post


I said the same thing about Story of Your Life, and ARRIVAL turned out pretty fantastic. I haven't read the works this is based on so excited to discover it.

 

I have a feeling you'd really like the book, AO.  It's fairly short, so plenty of time to knock it out before the premiere too.

post #30 of 55

Just want to say I cast Jennifer Jason Leigh as the Psychologist in my head when I was reading the books back before there was ever a movie deal. Guess I missed my calling.

post #31 of 55

Yeah, fingers crossed on this one. The visuals are certainly up to scratch from the look of that trailer. I've no clue how they're going to translate the book to film, but I'm prepared to give it a shot.

post #32 of 55

Oh good. Natalie Portman.

 

Other than that looks interesting.  Will check out the books at the very least.

 

Garland needs to stop pissing about and write and direct the next Dredd movie though.

post #33 of 55

So the books are worth reading? I've heard mixed things, but there seems to be mostly positive buzz about it here.

post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
 

So the books are worth reading? I've heard mixed things, but there seems to be mostly positive buzz about it here.

 

They're very interesting. Personally, I think the second book is very very weak... it goes into areas I was distinctly uninterested in but overall it's a fascinating trilogy and quite unlike anything modern I've read in a while.

post #35 of 55

It's actually kind of interesting that we'll be seeing one novelist interpret another novelist's work for the big screen. I can't think of many other times that has occurred but, then, I also can't think of many novelists-turned-directors beyond Stephen King and Michael Crichton. 

post #36 of 55
He did a terrific job with the script for Never Let Me Go, by an author whose works are very difficult to film.
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
 

So the books are worth reading? I've heard mixed things, but there seems to be mostly positive buzz about it here.

 

The books are great, and truly unique.  Imagine Arrival by way of Lovecraft with some Cronenberg body horror sprinkled in.

post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

He did a terrific job with the script for Never Let Me Go, by an author whose works are very difficult to film.

 

Good point. Forgot about that.

post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by flint View Post
 

 

They're very interesting. Personally, I think the second book is very very weak... it goes into areas I was distinctly uninterested in but overall it's a fascinating trilogy and quite unlike anything modern I've read in a while.

 

That's interesting: the second book may be my favorite. but all of them are stellar.

post #40 of 55
I’ve had a rather lushly presented copy of the trilogy on my shelf since last Christmas, this might be the push I need to get started on it...
post #41 of 55

I haven't read the books and I felt mixed on Ex Machina (good execution but it is very much an "ideas" movie and as a sci-fi fan I found its ideas a bit played out), but I gotta say...

 

This looks dope af.

post #42 of 55

Finally had a chance to watch the trailer.

 

Wow.

 

Someone here or on FB (can't be arsed to check) described it as Arrival mixed with Lovecraft. Which is fucking awesome.

 

And this looks good, at least. And the cast is amazing.

 

A little worried that Tessa Thompson looked at Gary Sinise's career in the early aughts and is attempting his "Be in every other film released for three years running" arc, which didn't work out so well for him.

post #43 of 55

Very strong and atmospheric trailer.  Not sure how the story is going to work out (not read the books).  Ex Machina was pretty damn good, so this is definitely on my radar.

post #44 of 55

After the discussion on here I was torn between reading the book or going into the movie "blind" and reading the book later.

 

Then my decision was made for me as the library has holds on all their copies of the book. Cuz, you know, reading the book before the movie comes out is very much Stuff White People Like. I have no doubt this book got checked out and reserved like 5 minutes after that trailer hit the internet.

 

But it kind of forced a happy compromise on my initial conundrum because I decided to just start with the second book, and it's actually kinda working out well so far!

post #45 of 55

I'm not an "always read the book!" purist, but in this case I say absolutely read the book.  There's not even much plot to spoil, but seeing how they go about adapting it is going to be fascinating, regardless of how good the final product actually is.

post #46 of 55

I plan to, just not sure if it is gonna happen before the movie comes out.

 

A lot of white people use my library.

post #47 of 55

Reading the second book definitely is making me want to read the first book. Every glimpse I get of what the first book was about and its characters is very much a moment of "Now THAT seems like a dope story."

 

I can perfectly follow what's going on in Authority but it definitely feels like maybe it would be more involving/intriguing/engaging if I had read the first book, uh, first.

 

You know, like the author intended, lol.

post #48 of 55

No, don't read the book first!  I'm firmly in the camp of wanting to watch the movie first, because then you're not distracted by your own interpretation of the story clashing with the film.  Then you can read the book afterward and have that give extra shading and dimensions to the story.

post #49 of 55

In a more plot-driven, conventional work, that may be true. However, the Area X trilogy is such a unique narrative that any cinematic interpretation has no danger of really challenging, much less usurping, the vision created by the book. You kind of have to experience it first-hand to understand what I'm talking about.

 

Regardless, my opinion of the books is so high that, no matter how good the movie is, I can guarantee the richer experience is to be found in reading them first. And I have little doubt I will enjoy the movie a great deal, if Ex Machina is any indication of what's in store.

post #50 of 55

I read that the author Vandermeer says the movie, from the screening he saw, is vastly different from the book, kind of its own thing, so maybe it wouldn't matter that much if you read the book or not.

 

Like a Blade Runner/Electric Sheep situation!

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