Entertainment Weekly has revealed the first look at Natalie Portman in Alex Garland’s upcoming feature film adaptation of Annihilation, the environmental horror thriller from author Jeff Vandermeer.
The film follows the expedition of four women on a mission to map Area X, a section of land in the United States secretly quarantined for abnormal activity. The expedition itself is the twelfth expedition sent into Area X by the Southern Reach organization with previous expeditions ending in mass suicide, murder, and inexplicable events. The eleventh expedition died of cancer within weeks of their return after they came back as mere shadows of their former selves.
The first image of Portman as the scientist Lena reveals her investigating a strange alligator in Area X. Garland opened up, telling EW about Portman’s character who is tasked with exploring the area which has been taken over by a mysterious force:
“[She] finds a very strange, dream-like, surrealist landscape, and goes deeper and deeper into that world, and also into that mindset,”
Garland also teased that the strange alligator discovered in Area X has traits that do not belong to alligators and that the discovery itself opens the characters up to how strange this place is:
“It is their first tangible encounter with something strange. The alligator has physical elements to it that should not belong on an alligator. They’re starting to get their heads around how weird the place is.”
You can check out the first look at Portman as Lena in Annihilation below.
The film stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
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; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition 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 weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The 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, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, 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.
Annihilation is set to hit theaters February 23, 2018.
7 Movies Still Worth Catching In Theaters In 2017
The summer movie season may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some amazing films still coming out this year! It just opened the fall box office with a bang, earning the highest opening for a horror film, and there are quite a few films set to follow its lead. The holiday season in particular is always a great time for movies, with Oscar contenders and big-budget family-friendly movies being released simultaneously.
Of course, the movies on this list aren’t the only films coming out this year — they’re just some of the ones with the biggest marketing budget, making it easier for people to know they are coming out soon. So, if none of these movies seem interesting to you, do a little research and see if there are any great independent or foreign films coming to your local theaters!
Hit Next to learn about seven movies still worth seeing this year!