When it comes to the entertainment industry, you can find some with apt acting skills, dancing skills or excellent screenwriting skills to name a few. There are also multi-talented people like the English writer and filmmaker Alex Garland who has successfully carved a niche for himself in the science-fiction genre. After a three-year-long hiatus following his directorial debut with Ex Machina, Alex outdid himself in his thought-provoking 2018 comeback thriller flick in the same genre entitled, Annihilation. This article brings you 10 things you didn’t know about the Alex Garland movie.
The Plot of Annihilation
It’s been three years since an unidentified foreign object crashed somewhere on the American coast which is known as Area X and it started to spread an unknown substance, simply called “The Shimmer”. Several teams from different fields had been deployed to explore the shimmer but none has returned except one man, Kane played by Oscar Isaac. On the other hand, his wife, Lena who was portrayed by Natalie Portman was a biologist. She alongside four other female scientists went on an exploratory mission to the segregated area – on a quest to find answers only to discover the most bizarre kinds of mutating organisms that would mess with not just their sanity, but also their lives.
Here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Alex Garland’s Movie
1. Annihilation had a lot of women on its cast list
The film is notable for featuring many female stars which include the likes of Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny. Moreso, these women were not portrayed with superhuman strength rather, they showed their feminine side which is an expression of both their unique strengths and weaknesses.
2. The movie had very good reviews from critics
Having an approval rating as high as 87% based on 294 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and 79% based on 51 critical reviews on Metacritic, Annihilation received mostly positive comments from reviewers, especially critics.
3. Annihilation was not a box office success
However, with a budget between $40 – $55 million Annihilation was only able to gross $32.7 million. Thus, making it one of the biggest Box office flops of 2018.
4. Annihilation is rated R
There were some sex scenes in the movie as well as violent scenes which earned the film the R rating. There were also a lot of deaths in the movie and most of the deaths did not occur in the most subtle of ways hence the more reason, Annihilation became R rated.
5. Alex Garland’s Annihilation is based on a novel of the same title
Garland wrote the film based on the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation. However, instead of adapting the book directly, he introduced his twist while trying to capture the tone and nature the author intended.
6. Annihilation was digitally distributed by Netflix, to Garland’s dismay
After Annihilation’s director Alex Garland and producer Scott Rudin refused to “dumb down” the film which was described as “too complicated and intellectual” by Paramount pictures financier, David Ellison, it was announced on December 7, 2017, that Netflix had purchased the rights to distribute the film internationally. Paramount Pictures would only distribute to theatres in the US, Canada, and China. Speaking on this in an interview, Garland said he was disappointed by the news since the film was made for cinema and not smaller screens.
7. The movie was accused of character misrepresentation
Before it was released, Garland was criticized for casting white people like Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh to portray characters that were described as Asian and Native American in the other books from VanderMeer’s Trilogy. In his defense, Garland said he wrote the script based on the first book only and the others were published after scriptwriting had been concluded. He also said the actors in the Annihilation film were chosen based on a due casting process.
8. Annihilation Awards and Nominations
Annihilation was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Movie Award under the category Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie in 2018 along with the likes of A Quiet Place, Halloween, and Suspiria. The film was also nominated for Hugo Awards’ under the category of Best Dramatic Presentation alongside Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War.
9. The movie had some actors who starred in Ex Machina
Oscar Isaac who starred as Nathan in the 2014 film Ex Machina also starred in Annihilation as one of the three men who had notable roles in the film. Moreso, Annihilation’s super-impressive visual and special makeup effects were done by a team that had many of the directors collaborating with those from Ex Machina.
10. The end of the movie left a lot of questions in the minds of viewers
As if the film itself has not done enough to set the brain wheels in motion, Garland caps the cerebral movie with an ending that leaves viewers asking questions such as “Is that the end?” “How can that be?” Even The Economist who described Annihilation as lethargic and pretentious had to commend its final thirty minutes.