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Annihilation - Alex Garland directs Natalie Portman in Sci-fi Picture

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Garland won much praise for Ex Machina, and now comes his follow up movie, Annihilation, which is an adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer's book of the same name (and the first part of a trilogy if I recall). 

 

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Annihilation stars Natalie Portman as a biologist who, when her husband (played by Oscar Isaac) leads a mission into a remote, contaminated area where all kinds of unholy creatures lurk. Rounding out the rest of the cast are Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and the great Jennifer Jason Leigh

 

This is due out in late February 2017 - certainly an interesting trailer. Has anyone read the book? How does this compare/look?

 

 

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I heard that he’s making it work as a stand-alone movie because there’s no certainty of sequels. But he can still make the sequels if it does work out. 

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11 hours ago, Goose said:

Garland won much praise for Ex Machina, and now comes his follow up movie, Annihilation, which is an adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer's book of the same name (and the first part of a trilogy if I recall). 

 

 

This is due out in late February 2017 - certainly an interesting trailer. Has anyone read the book? How does this compare/look?

 

 

 

You’re correct, there is a Trilogy.

 

I read all three back to back and it was intense. They are very strange books, I’m sure I wrote something about them in the What Are You Reading Now thread. I think I compared them to a fever dream. There’s a real sense of unreality to the whole thing, not just weirdness. The author REALLY nails the bizarro world that Area X has become and leaves you feeling like you’ve been haunted. I dunno if I’d actually recommend the books as they are so strange but I  ALL IN for this film. 

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Agreed. I managed about 80% of the first book and it really, really got under my skin in a way no other book has. I had to stop because it was screwing me up, despite it being relatively short. It'll be interesting to see how the film compares, because a big part of this is psychological horror and the constant re-enforcement that it's just completely alien (which meant I couldn't rationalise what was going on at all).

 

But, that trailer looks beautiful.

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I read the first book (or got the audiobook, I can’t remember) and while I enjoyed it very much, it curiously left me with zero desire to read the rest of the trilogy.

 

@Harsin‘s cat picture makes me want to finish it more than the first book did!

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What ZOK said, exactly. 

 

The first one one was an incredible piece of writing, partly in plot, but largely in the weird sense of ‘other’ it created. So unsettling at times that I haven’t yet returned to the Southern Reach.

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Haven't read the book, but a big fan of Ex Machina and Natalie Portman. Trouble is, Portman looks a bit silly in this, squatting about with her big gun. I'm sure it'll be great but she's no Emily Blunt.

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All three books in the Southern Reach trilogy are excellent, and I’m really looking forward to the film. I’m curious as to how they’ll actually make it work on film – certain aspects of the book are absolutely key to the creepy vibe and the sense of unease, like a particular repeated phrase or [unspecified thing] that’s quite hard to visualise.

 

According to Wikipedia, they were location shooting in a park in Surrey, which was totally not how I visualised Area X, but could work.

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On 28/09/2017 at 08:40, Glasgowchivas said:

 

You’re correct, there is a Trilogy.

 

I read all three back to back and it was intense. They are very strange books, I’m sure I wrote something about them in the What Are You Reading Now thread. I think I compared them to a fever dream. There’s a real sense of unreality to the whole thing, not just weirdness. The author REALLY nails the bizarro world that Area X has become and leaves you feeling like you’ve been haunted. I dunno if I’d actually recommend the books as they are so strange but I  ALL IN for this film. 

 

Totally agree. In fact, I remember someone talking about it and it all sounded super familiar and I wasn’t sure how I knew about it. Had to check my Kindle list to see if read it. Deeply unsettling. 

 

Might need to check out the sequels but as others have said below it doesn’t feel like it’s necessary. 

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Trailer looks good. Garland seems like a good fit.

 

I really liked the books too. There's a section early in the first book that unsettled me probably more than anything I've ever read.

 

I also read VanderMeer's latest book, Borne a few months ago (which I think has also been optioned for a film). The plot's more straightforward than the SR trilogy but the setting and tone are just as creepy. I'd recommend reading it with no prior knowledge if you can.

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2 hours ago, El Geet said:

 

 

Totally agree. In fact, I remember someone talking about it and it all sounded super familiar and I wasn’t sure how I knew about it. Had to check my Kindle list to see if read it. Deeply unsettling. 

 

Might need to check out the sequels but as others have said below it doesn’t feel like it’s necessary. 

 

I thought the sequels were really good. They managed to walk that difficult line between explaining just enough to satisfy, while still managing to maintain the air of mystery. And as Harsin says, they're both completely different to the original book, so you don't get that sense of diminishing returns.

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1 hour ago, K said:

 

I thought the sequels were really good. They managed to walk that difficult line between explaining just enough to satisfy, while still managing to maintain the air of mystery. And as Harsin says, they're both completely different to the original book, so you don't get that sense of diminishing returns.

Will check them out.  Always a bit wary of trilogies and, as you put it, diminishing returns.  For example, I thought Dark Eden was a great bit of SF and the sequels, whilst interesting, felt totally unnecessary.

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1 minute ago, El Geet said:

Will check them out.  Always a bit wary of trilogies and, as you put it, diminishing returns.  For example, I thought Dark Eden was a great bit of SF and the sequels, whilst interesting, felt totally unnecessary.

 

I haven't read the third Dark Eden book, but I know what you mean about the second - I thought it was an interesting idea, but didn't really capture my imagination in the same way as the first. The Annihilation sequels aren't like that, trust me - you might not like them, but they're definitely not just a rehash of the original book.

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I'm actually only halfway through the third and it captured my interest even less than the second.  Having said that something just happened to make it much more interesting again...but it feels like fan fiction.

 

Sorry for the derail!

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On 2017/9/29 at 06:06, ZOK said:

I read the first book (or got the audiobook, I can’t remember) and while I enjoyed it very much, it curiously left me with zero desire to read the rest of the trilogy.

 

@Harsin‘s cat picture makes me want to finish it more than the first book did!

 

Snap!

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The book was great. Incredibly (incredibly) unnerving all the way through. Not sure now how the film's going to work, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing it now.

 

Think a purchase of the second book is going to happen later on :P

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On 27/09/2017 at 21:34, Sabreman said:

I'm really glad Garland is writing and directing movies now, I thought Ex Machina was superb. This certainly looks intriguing. Bring on more intelligent sci-fi ^_^

 

Yes, this!
Oscar Isaac is a big plus too.

Also I thought the book sounded interesting so went to Amazon to get it and found I already bought it on my Kindle but haven't read it.
Triple Yay!

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Well, it's going to be very interesting how the film compares to the books. Well into the third book in the series, and quite honestly it could make an absolutely wonderful  TV series.

 

 

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One of my favourite sci-fi books ever so really hoping this will be good. But I agree it would suit a TV series much better. Guess they'll focus more on the horror aspect of it for the film. From the trailer its amazing how much the zone looks like I had pictured it in my mind. With Alex Garland at the helm surely this will be pretty great!

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Due a deal Paramount has struck with Netflix, this now won't get a cinema release except in the US and Canada. Everywhere else it will debut on the streaming service sometime in February (provided it makes it debut the same time as US release).

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