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See Ex Machina filmmaker’s new thriller with Natalie Portman

Watch the trailer for Alex Garland’s otherworldly eco-drama Annihilation

The trailer for Ex Machina writer and director Alex Garland’s latest film Annihilation has landed. The thriller stars Natalie Portman, a biologist who embarks on a trip into a restricted environmental zone to discover what put her husband (played by Oscar Issac) into a coma.

It’s an adaptation of the first book (same title) in a trilogy, though Garland - for now - intends it to be a standalone film. The original sci-fi novel by Jeff Vandermeer sees Lena (Portman) enter a secretly quarantined area of the U.S with an otherworldly landscape, shrouded in a strange membrane.

Past groups that made the trip to ‘Area X’ subsequently died by mass suicide or a dispute that ended in a storm of gunfire, while others were lost to cancer when they returned. The trailer sees Portman begin the twelfth expedition by the Southern Reach Organisation, going on an excursion with Jennifer Jason Leigh, a psychologist, Tessa Thompson, a surveyor, and Gina Rodriguez, an anthropologist, to uncover why her husband went on such a “suicide mission”. In small bursts, we see animal/plant hybrid creatures, kidnappings and strange skin disease.

The clip shows Portman unable to articulate the horrors and oddities she witnessed in Area X.

Annihilation looks like a visually stunning, disturbing piece of modern storytelling, strengths shown in Garland’s AI-thriller and indie hit Ex Machina, bringing the compelling, harrowing writing of Vandermeer’s eco horror to life.

The film is slated for a February 23 release date in the UK and U.S