Annihilation, says actress Gina Rodriguez in this just-released featurette about the upcoming sci-fi thriller from Ex Machina director Alex Garland, is “something we haven’t seen quite yet.”
She’s talking about “the Shimmer,” the strange, glowing, sinister, shape-shifting phenomenon that threatens to carry out just what the title suggests. If the Aurora Borealis and the Blob had a kid, he’d look like the Shimmer.
But Garland might just as well have been talking about the film’s release strategy. As first reported by Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. in December, Netflix and Paramount/Skydance negotiated a deal on the Natalie Portman-starrer that gives the streaming service international rights, with the film set for streaming overseas just 17 days after the U.S. premiere on February 23. Paramount will do the traditional theatrical release in the U.S., Canada and China.
As Deadline reported, the unusual strategy is designed to provide a potentially larger overseas audience while lowering P&A costs for a film likely to have a specialized appeal.
In addition to Portman and Rodriguez, the film, based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, also features Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Garland.
Logline: Lena (Portman), a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline. Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity.
Annihilation hits theaters February 23. Check out the new featurette, which includes footage from the film along with cast interviews, above.