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Go Behind-the-Scenes of Alex Garland’s ‘Stalker’-Inspired Sci-Fi Drama ‘Annihilation’

Written by on July 7, 2016 


Update: Watch the first trailer.

Following up his Oscar-winning Ex Machina, Alex Garland is returning to sci-fi for his next film, an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer‘s novel Annihilation. Starring Natalie Portman, Gina RodriguezTessa ThompsonJennifer Jason Leigh, and David Gyasi, the film features a group of women — an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist, and a biologist  — who embark on a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

With filming now nearly wrapping up, today we have collection of images from the cast and cinematographer Rob Hardy (who shot Ex Machina) that show off what looks to be the perfect location for those that have read the book. He also states that the “only film to appear in the research library” for Annihilation is none other than Andrei Tarkovsky‘s sci-fi classic Stalker. Being that it’s also “a metaphysical journey into an area where the laws of nature do not apply,” this is certainly a fitting comparison, judging by VanderMeer’s nature-focused, mind-bending journey into an unknown abyss.

See the images below, along with some posts about inspirations behind the film’s look:

This morning.

A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

My boo. 😍 #annihilationFilm 📸 by director Alex Garland.

A photo posted by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

Lit with the magic of movie making, on Annihilation, with my sunshine @hereisgina 🔋🌿 . Photo by director Alex Garland

A photo posted by Tessa Thompson (@tessamaethompson) on

wrapped on Annihilation. quite possibly a very beautiful film. can’t wait [for you] to see.

A photo posted by Tessa Thompson (@tessamaethompson) on


A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

Unrelated Paraphernalia

A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

Smoke study

A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

Thursday afternoon.

A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

Military grade surrealism

A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on


A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

Landscape with night around it.

A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on


A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

Relevant paraphernalia.

A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

As we await official images and footage, 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.

Annihilation will likely premiere in 2017.

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