Anybody who’s seen 2010’s outstanding Black Swan knows Natalie Portman can play paranoia and fear like nobody’s business. And in her next genre outing it looks like she has plenty to be paranoid and fearful of. Paramount Pictures just released the new full trailer for next year’s much-anticipated sci-fi flick Annihilation. The film sees Portman as Lena, a biologist whose husband (played by Ex Machina‘s Oscar Isaac) goes missing while on a secret mission in mysterious Area X, a quarantined section of land riddled with strange phenomena.
Annihilation is director Alex Garland’s second feature, after 2014’s well-received Ex Machina. It’s based on the first book in author Jeff VanderMeer’s “Southern Reach” trilogy. Garland is no stranger to screenwriting (he also wrote Ex Machina and 2002’s 28 Days Later) and took on screenplay duties here as well. A more detailed synopsis goes like this…
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, 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 another, 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.
The film also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh (Twin Peaks: The Return) as the psychologist, Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) as Anya Thorensen the Anthropologist, Tessa Thompson (Dear White People) as the Surveyor, and Tuva Novotny as the Linguist.
There’s some seriously trippy visuals featured in this trailer, including but not limited to: swirly purple air(?), deer with flower antlers, and I think Katherine Heigl even makes an appearance as a rabid werewolf creature.
What do you guys think, are you pumped for this one? Looks pretty sick if you ask me. We have a few more months to wait however, as Paramount will release Annihilation in theaters February 23rd, 2018.