No one gets out of Area X alive.

After the success of Ex Machina, anticipation for director Alex Garland’s next film is at extremely high levels. The book he has chosen, Annihilation, suits his sensibilities quite well.  As part one of the Southern Reach trilogy, Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation details the journey of four women who explore the bizarre Area X. One of the women, a Biologist, is haunted by the bizarre return of her husband from a previous venture into Area X and the need to discover its mysterious.

Great trailers don’t often need to explain too much to get audiences excited about a property. In that sense, the first Annihilation trailer was perfect. If you need a little something extra to get you into a story, this new trailer succeeds in that category as well. The trailer depicts a couple (Oscar Issac and Natalie Portman) who are both drawn to this unknown destination. Issac’s character has seemingly returned from a previous venture but shows signs of illness in his return. This prompts Natalie Portman, the Biologist, to seek out answers herself. She is joined on her mission by three other women who excel in their various fields of a study:  An anthropologist (Gina Rodriguez), a surveyor (Tessa Thompson), and a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

Judging by this trailer, there are a lot of changes in place from the book to the movie. Going into too much would spoil the fun, but there does seem to be more emphasis on action than the book ever really explores. Although it might not be enough action if recent news about Annihilation‘s distribution is to suggest. Apparently, Netflix has obtained the international rights to Annihilation and it will air on the streaming service seventeen days after its US premiere in international markets. It’s not a question of whether or not Annihilation will be a good film, but more about Paramount being afraid that the intellectual film won’t be a big money maker at the box office. It might be one of the first instances of this kind of deal, but with films being a massive risk, don’t be surprised if studios broker more of these deals with Netflix.

Annihilation will open on February 23rd, 2018.

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