Ex-Machina Director Alex Garland to Direct Female-Led Annihilation

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Alex Garland, the writer and director behind last year’s entrancing artificial intelligence drama Ex-Machina, has earned himself a new gig working on Paramount’s latest—and all female led—science fiction thriller, Annihilation.

The film, which is based on Jeff VanderMeer’s award winning novel about a team of four who cross into uninhabited land known as Area X, will see Garland at the helm.

Centering on a biologist, anthropologist, psychologist and a surveyor, the movie follows members of a 12th expedition as they face the unknown and the disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers and mental traumas experienced by crew from 11 previous explorations.

The movie will mark Garland’s second directorial effort after Ex-Machina, and has already attached several big names to the project. The leading cast will feature a talented and diverse crop of actresses, including Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez and Creed star Tessa Thompson.

Although this is only Garland’s second stint in the director’s chair, his previous experience with the 2015 female-led AI mystery, in addition to his credits as writer for 28 Days Later and author of The Beach, make him an ideal fit for Vandermeer’s spine-tingling sci-fi drama. Annihilation is the first book in Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy. The movie is slated to be released in 2017.