Paramount Taps Alex Garland to Direct Annihilation

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With extremely positive buzz following yesterday’s trailer launch for sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, Variety is reporting that Paramount has tapped that film’s writer/director Alex Garland to adapt the script and direct the futuristic gothic horror film Annihilation, the first part of novelist Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.

The studio and producer Scott Rudin (also a producer on Ex Machina) acquired movie rights to the 2014 trilogy last year, with the first book “Annihilation” published in March, followed by “Authority” in May and “Acceptance” in September.

The logline for Annihilation focuses on “a biologist seeking answers about her husband’s disappearance,” but here’s a more complete synopsis of the book:

A team of four (a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor) set out into a place known as Area X. The area is abandoned and cut off from the rest of civilization. They are the 12th expedition. The other expeditions have been fraught with disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers, and mental trauma.

This is somewhat familiar territory for Garland, whose 1996 novel “The Beach” (as well as the film of the same name) centered on an isolated island frought with danger. Garland, whose writing credits include 28 Days Later, Dredd and Sunshine, made his directorial debut on Ex Machina, which stars Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander, with A24 releasing it on April 10, 2015.