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 Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny.
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 arriving in theaters this weekend in North America, I recently sat down with Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez for an exclusive video interview. They talked about why it’s important for people to see movies like Annihilation, the cultural shift going on in Hollywood, and being part of a movie where the people trying to figure out what happened are all women scientists.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and some images from the film.
Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez:
- How they filmed a sequence with a monster where the cast didn’t know the monster was going to come out and try and attack them.
- How the film features five women scientists as the lead investigators going into the Shimmer and how that’s not the norm in a lot of big Hollywood movies. Is that one of things that brought them to the project.
For more on Annihilation:
- ‘Annihilation’: Everything We Learned on the Set of 2018’s Strangest & Most Audacious Sci-Fi Film
- ‘Annihilation’s Natalie Portman on What Alex Garland Did That Surprised the Cast
- ‘Annihilation’ Featurette Digs Into the Mystery of “The Shimmer”
- ‘Annihilation’ Explained: Unpacking Alex Garland’s Brilliant, Trippy Sci-Fi Horror Film