News: Alex Garland Is Not Interested In Making Annihilation Sequel

Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation was written and directed by Alex Garland. It is available on Blu-ray and DVD today and it's the type of film that has garnered a considerable fanbase that would definitely love to see him make a sequel. Speeking to IndieWire, Garland said that's never going to happen. He said that: 

"I’ve got no objection to someone else doing that, but I’m not interested in the idea of a sequel. I feel like we made this movie and this is the movie we made.”

He continued:

“When the thing is done, I am done with it. I instantly start moving on, so I don’t even have an opinion on an Annihilation sequel. All the way through I was clear with everyone, from the studio to the cast, I told everyone that I didn’t really see it as part of a franchise. My goal was to make this film and do the best job I can. I didn’t even conceptualize it as the start of a trilogy. Sequels are just not something I’m interested in doing. It’s like when you don’t like steak, you don’t make the decision not to eat steak, you just don’t eat steak. I just don’t do sequels.”

Garland said that his desire to not make sequels is due to his creative process, which is often a “push-back” against his previous film. He stated that:

Ex Machina was very zoned in and specific. It had a very small cast. It’s effectively one location. There were four people, and often each scene included only pairs. In Annihilation, you often have five people in a scene at once. It was the opposite.”

His new project is sci-fi television series Devs, which FX has given a pilot order, looks to be the opposite of Annihilation. Garland wrote the pilot episode and will also be directing it, as well as serving as an executive producer. 

“In Devs, which will be produced by FX Productions, a young computer engineer, Lily, investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in San Francisco, which she believes is behind the disappearance of her boyfriend.” 

The series consists of 8 episodes that Garland has written that tells a complete story, but could be carried on. He said that:

“If they (FX) want to carry it on, I guess they could… it’s a self-contained story though. There’s ways you could carry it on. Hopefully shooting in about six months. I’ve started talking about casting, locations, practical stuff like that.” 

Annihilation was a very kind of internal, intuitive kind of filmmaking. Devs has a very specific kind of scientific and philosophic argument embedded within it,” Garland told IndieWire. “Devs has this very rigorous argument to it. Telling you what that argument is now would undermine the series, but it has a central and very locked down argument embedded within it. Annihilation has a fever dream aspect to it. Devs does not.”
Annihilation was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later), and stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. The Book's synopsis is:

"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; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died 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 months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. 

 This is the twelfth expedition. 

 Their 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 and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to 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."