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Alex Garland Sets Natalie Portman and Frances McDormand for ‘Annihilation’; Neill Blomkamp Lines Up Next Project

Written by on November 11, 2015 

Having broken through with one of the year’s finest debuts, Ex Machina helmer Alex Garland is quickly working toward a second feature — one that, unsurprisingly, sounds bigger and more ambitious. Word has come that he’ll next tackle Annihilation, a (drum roll) sci-fi picture that’s set Natalie Portman and Gina Rodriguez (Deepwater Horizon, Jane the Virgin), while Frances McDormand is in talks. In adapting Jeff VanderMeer‘s novel, the first of a trilogy, it’ll follow a four-woman scientific expedition team sent to survey an Eden-like paradise, Area X, that has ended up killing many of its visitors. [The Wrap]

Scott Rudin will be producing Annihilation, which is expected to commence shooting this spring; Paramount will distribute.

After being struck down like Icarus flying too close to the sun on the wings of a fanboy-favorite franchise — between that and Chappie, would he been having too good of a year? — Neill Blomkamp‘s found another sci-fi property to occupy his time. It, according to Deadline, is The Gone World, which adapts a forthcoming novel from Thomas Sweterlitsch. Details on book and film iterations remain scarce, except the notice that it’s a “time travel procedural” — one presumably good enough to quickly catch the attention of 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment. The rest, as they say, will have to wait.

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