Natalie Portman In Early Talks For Alex Garland’s Annihilation

She's considering the Jeff VanderMeer adaptation

Natalie Portman In Early Talks For Alex Garland's Annihilation

by James White |
Published on


With artificial intelligence thriller **Ex Machina **proving a big success at the box office both here and across the pond, writer/director Alex Garland has plenty of momentum for whatever he wants to make next. He’s been working quietly on Annihilation for a few months now, and has Natalie Portman interested in playing the lead.

The adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s sci-fi novel has been in development since 2013, when producer Scott Rudin bought the rights and set the project up at Paramount. Garland signed on in November is now putting the elements together.

VanderMeer’s book chronicles an expedition into a mysterious, remote and sealed-off zone known as 'Area X'. For 30 years, Area X been labelled by the government as an environmental disaster zone, despite seemingingly being a pristine wilderness. For 30 years, too, a secret agency called the Southern Reach has monitored Area X and sent in expeditions to try to discover the truth.

Some expeditions have suffered terrible consequences. Others have reported nothing out of the ordinary. Now, as Area X seems to be changing and perhaps expanding, the next investigation will attempt to succeed where all others have failed. What is happening in the zone? What is the true nature of the invisible border that surrounds it? Our heroine (Portman, if she signs) and guide for the latest attempt to discover the truth behind the place is a biologist looking for answers to her husband’s disappearance as part of an earlier expedition. She and her colleagues soon discover that all is definitely not what it seems and that they’re being manipulated...

Portman has been busy working on her directorial debut, A Tale Of Love And Darkness, which she’ll be bringing to Cannes to show to distributors. She’ll also be seen in Jane Got A Gun (September 4) and Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups, which has a reported UK release date on January 1, 2016.

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