Alex Garland on ‘Annihilation’, Why Some Test Screening Reactions Are Bullshit, and Deleted Scenes

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It’s early in 2018, but I think I’ve seen what will be one of my favorite films of the year: writer-director Alex Garland’s Annihilation. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s terrifying eco-horror novel of the same name, the movie stars Natalie Portman as a biologist and former soldier who joins a mission to uncover what exactly happened to her husband (Oscar Isaac) inside Area X, which is a mysterious—and growing—patch of land in the United States that seems to fundamentally alter everything in its path. Garland’s film also stars Jennifer Jason LeighTessa ThompsonGina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny.

Image via Paramount Pictures and Skydance

Unlike a lot of movies where everything is explained and watered down by studio notes and focus groups, Annihilation is a hard sci-fi thriller where you’re constantly trying to figure out what is happening, and I loved every second of it. In addition, the film contains a lot of weird and bold choices that will infuriate some and leave others floored. It’s the type of film that rarely gets made and I commend Paramount Pictures for releasing it.

With Annihilation now in theaters in North America, I recently sat down with Alex Garland for an exclusive video interview. During our wide-ranging conversation he shared a number of stories on the making of Annihilation and talked about the length of his first cut compared to the finished film, why Natalie Portman was perfect for the film, how the edit was a challenging process with some people wanting to water down the content, why he deleted a pretty long scene, and so much more. In addition, he talked about his upcoming FX series, Devs, and shares an amazing story from a test screening of Never Let Me Go. If you’re a fan of Alex Garland I’m very confident you’ll enjoy this interview.

Image via Paramount Pictures and Skydance

Check out what he to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and some images from the film.

Alex Garland:

For more on Annihilation:

Image via Paramount Pictures

Image via Paramount Pictures and Skydance

Image via Paramount Pictures and Skydance

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