Alex Garland’s ‘Ex Machina’ Follow-Up, ‘Annihilation,’ Adds Natalie Portman

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Writer/director Alex Garland is assembling the cast for Annihilation, his follow-up to his cerebral sci-fi thriller Ex Machina. Variety has confirmed Natalie Portman is working on taking the lead role, with both Tilda Swinton and Julianne Moore circling supporting roles.

Annihilation will be the adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s sci-fi novel about “a biologist who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.”

Portman appears to be honing in on the lead role, though all of this is very early in development. Ex Machina is currently in theaters and is enjoying solid reviews. After a few years laying low following her 2009 Best Actress win for Black Swan, Portman is back in a big way this year. She will appear alongside Christian Bale in Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups and Jane Got a Gun, and is directing her first feature, A Tale of Love and Darkness.

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Annihilation does not have a shooting schedule or release date yet, but if Portman joins forces with either Swinton or Moore, count me in.


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