Days after reports of battles behind the scenes of Alex Garland’s Annihilation, here’s a new full trailer for the film, starring Natalie Portman as a woman who ventures into a mysterious place searching for answers about her ill husband (Oscar Isaac). Supposedly there was some debate among the film’s producers about how up- or downbeat to go with the film’s ending, and whether Alex Garland (who previously made the outstanding Ex Machina) would get to release his preferred cut of the film. Eventually Netflix stepped in to co-fund and co-distribute the movie, ensuring that audiences would see Garland’s version.

Here’s the official plot synopsis (or lack of an official plot synopsis):

Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later).

The trailer looks interesting to me (although that one monster with the big teeth could have come out of a B-movie from 1986). People who have read the book (I have not) tell me they don’t feel the trailer is particularly representative of the source material, particularly in the depiction of the Portman character. Maybe that’s just marketing trying to make an uncommercial movie look a little more mainstream. I guess we’ll see. As a huge fan of Ex Machina, I’m glad we’re going to see Garland’s cut. Annihilation opens in theaters on February 23, 2018.

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