Yeah, regardless of all that, who the hell starts reading a trilogy at book two?!? That's just nuts.
ANNIHILATION (2018) Pre-Release - Page 2
It does kind of work for this trilogy, though! Emphasis on "kind of."
If there is trilogy where you could switch the first two entries, it's this one, as the second already puts you in the POV of a character trying to study the events of the first from an outsider perspective. The third is a fairly direct sequel/conclusion to both, but I think starting with either Annhilation or Authority could work. At the least, Authority seems like it would work just as well, albeit differently, as a standalone from its predecessor.
I'd recommend reading the first, though, if only because the movie will implant visuals in your head for things where the obliqueness of the imagery is a huge part of the point. The slipperiness of the descriptions is a big part of the experience that a screen adaptation will have to nail down by its nature.
The sense I've gathered from what I've read and the trailer is that there is no intention of a movie trilogy, so the movie is going to focus primarily on the story of the first book but maybe have a few elements from the other two books to round it out and complete it?
Just finished the books. Decent character, fairly well-written, some cool ideas, it's a very realized work. There is very much a Lovecraft-meets-Lost-meets-Arrival thing going on, and I guess the distinguishing thing with the books is it kind of recognizes the foible of setting up an inexplicable mystery as a way of trying to hook people into figuring everything out. There are definitely revelations that happen, especially in the last book, but Vandermeer is very forthright about this whole thing being about humanity encountering something it can't really comprehend. And then, ultimately, accepting that.
Which is a good theme, but if I had to level a major criticism at the trilogy--it's that it is incredibly repetitive. Which is part of the point, but it was starting to wear on me about halfway through the third book. I really wonder if the plan with the movie is Garland basically following the storyline of the first book but borrowing with knowledge some elements from the other two to make it sort of its own complete thing. Because I doubt there are sequels being planned to this thing.
It's basically characters interacting with something that they can't adequately process--and the tensions caused between each other and a sort of loose almost abstract action-reaction chain happening with Area X. It isn't until the third book that there is any sort of, uh, "real" info given about what's maybe sorta happening in Area X, so for someone to try to tell you about the first book is kind of like someone trying to go into detail about something that is more experiential than anything.
Another sci-fi reference point is definitely Solyaris. But more Lovecraftian and less existential than that (though plenty existential, too).
this new trailer is very, uh, good? but also has a very different vibe from the books.
I get that with their second and last trailer they have to kind of sell the story and characters more, but I found the brevity and ambiguity of the teaser more effective as the book is very much a mood piece and, whatever the differences, I suspect the film will be more of a mood piece than a genre thriller (though will certainly have strong elements of that in certain moments, clearly).
on a visual and technical level alone, though, this looks so, so nice.
yeah, you can tell watching this trailer, they are loosely following the narrative of the book but they've made a lot of changes. which is fine, the book definitely needed some adapting in order to work as a movie.
you also see glimpses that imply that a few elements have been taken from the other two books, I'm assuming so that this film can stand alone and relatively complete without any narrative need for sequels. because I don't think they are planning on any.
Yeah, I'm a little surprised by the amount of 'monsters' the trailer seems to be showing. Also The Biologist seems more... emotional than I would have expected. And it does look like they are not going to bother with any reveals about The Psychiatrist. And the ticking clock with the 'save the husband' plot?
There's a LOT of changes here. Doesn't mean it'll be a bad film of course, but mmmm.
Still, production values look top notch.