With it being a few years since her last major role, 2015 marks the return of Natalie Portman in more ways than one. She was recently seen at Berlin in Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups and will have Jane Got a Gun later this year, but in between, she’ll debut her first directorial effort, A Tale of Love of Darkness, at Cannes. Today brings the first look at the drama surrounding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which can be seen above, and the synopsis below.

Based on Amos Oz’s international best-seller, A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS is the story of Oz’s youth at the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of the State of Israel. The film details young Amos’ relationship with his mother and his birth as a writer, looking at what happens when the stories we tell, become the stories we live.

We also have word on her next potential role, as Variety reports she’s in talks to star in Alex Garland‘s Ex Machina follow-up Annihilation. Staying in the sci-fi genre, the film — to be written and directed by Garland — is an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, which follows “a biologist who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.” With production kicking off by next year, we’ll likely have more details soon, including casting (Julianne Moore and Tilda Swinton are reportedly chasing after the co-star role), but for now, check out the Amazon synopsis below.

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers–they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding–but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

Listen to our in-depth discussion of Ex Machina, read our interview Garland, and more here.

Have you read Annihilation? Are you looking forward to Portman’s next projects?

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