In an official announcement in Variety, Paramount Studios, in collaboration with Scott Rudin Productions (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “Inside Llewyn Davis”) shared that writer/director Alex Garland has been tapped to adapt the script and direct the project that is currently being called “Annihilation”, after the first book in the series. Garland recently made his directorial debut on “Ex Machina,” which stars Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander (slated for an April release), and has written not only “Ex Machina”, but also “28 Days Later…”, “Sunshine”, “Never Let Me Go”, and “Dredd”, among others.
According to the announcement in Variety, “Rudin and Eli Bush are producing ‘Annihilation,’ which centers on a biologist seeking answers about her husband’s disappearance.”
There are three books in the “Southern Reach” series: Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance, all of which were published this year and have received critical acclaim. Southern Reach is the name of a shadowy secret agency that manages scientific expeditions into a mysterious area known only as Area X. Strange things happen in Area X, an uninhabited wilderness that once was populated but now is reverting back to a wild, “natural” state. No one who has been taken “across the border” into Area X has returned unscathed – if they return at all.
Jeff VanderMeer is well known as a speculative fiction author whose works are imaginative, fantastical and just plain weird (City of Saints and Madmen, The Transformation of Martin Lake, Finch). He also is well known for his editing of anthologies (such as the Leviathan series, the Best American Fantasy series of 2007 and 2008, and the Steampunk and Steampunk Revisited series), and wrote the acclaimed 2013 nonfiction work, Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, for which he won a BSFA and a Locus Award, and was nominated for a Hugo and World Fantasy Award (which would have been his fourth).
While this announcement does not ensure the project will make it to the big screen, it definitely is a big, wonderful step in the right direction. Fingers crossed!