Annihilation Trailer Is As Wild As You’d Expect Post- Ex Machina

Ex Machina left little doubt that Alex Garland was willing to take on some strange tales. Annihilation, based on the book and/or series by Jeff VanderMeer, takes that idea to another level entirely.

The main question surrounding the film is exactly how it’s going to put together a story, and by that I mean that the question is whether or not the story is going to cover only the first book, or dive deeper into the trilogy. An unusual question, to some degree, for an adaptation of a book in a series, it’s one that can’t be avoided here because the book doesn’t exactly end in a way that is likely to win over film fans.

The trailer gives us a lot to look at, and it looks as bizarre as you might expect, but it doesn’t actually clue us in to the characters we’re going to get.

The story is that of a group who are going into a mysterious area that is somewhat otherworldly and as the trailer tells you, a lot of things have gone in, but nothing has come out. Natalie Portman stars as The Biologist, and the trailer clearly shows off several moments that will make sense to those who have read the book, especially when it comes to her character. What isn’t as clear is exactly how the other characters – The Psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh), The Surveyor (Tessa Thompson), The Biologist’s Husband (Oscar Isaac), etc. – are going to mesh with their book counterparts.

The book has received a lot of critical acclaim, but, as I said, it’s tricky to figure out how an adaptation is likely to leave things in the end. As a book, the ending is a satisfying, but vexing stopping point in a trilogy, and I’m not sure anyone would be brave enough to leave things as they happen there. I’m not sure they should be.

That’s even before trying to figure out the ways the movie is likely to diverge from the book purely for the sake of time.

That said, the trailer certainly sells a thrill ride, and one that is bound to be the most talked about feature of the first part of the year.

Take a look above and let us know what you think.


Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.