Oscar Isaac Joins ‘Ex Machina’ Director’s New Sci-Fi Movie ‘Annihilation’
What sounds better than a new movie from Ex Machina filmmaker Alex Garland? How about a sci-fi movie about four women played by Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson (Creed), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Jennifer Jason Leigh? Now let me raise you with one more addition: Oscar Isaac. If that news doesn’t have you doing the Oscar Isaac Ex Machina dance, nothing will.
The internet’s boyfriend and Star Wars hero has joined Garland’s next film, Annihilation, an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 sci-fi novel from his Southern Reach trilogy. The story follows four women, described as a biologist, a psychologist, a surveyor and an anthropologist, going on the twelfth expedition into Area X, a contaminated zone isolated from the rest of civilization. Though Portman has been revealed to play the biologist, the rest of the actresses' roles have not yet been detailed.
VanderMeer announced Isaac was joining the cast on Twitter on Wednesday and confirmed his role. Isaac will play Portman’s husband, who (spoiler alert) went on the previous mission and returned only to die of cancer. Isaac’s role will likely be small in the film, as his character only appears in flashback-like journals, according to The Film Stage.
Check out the full synopsis of VanderMeer’s Annihilation below, via Amazon, which sounds like a thrilling cross between Tarkovsky’s Stalker and an X-Files episode:
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.
Though the book is the first part of a trilogy, Garland has said he approached the project as a solo movie. “Franchises are such a huge part of the way the film industry functions these days, but I just wasn’t seeing it with this particular job,” he told The Playlist. If Annihilation is anything as unique and thrilling as Ex Machina, which it surely sounds like, it's probably best to keep it as a singular entity. Annihilation is set to hit theaters sometime in 2017.