Paramount Pictures has released a new trailer for the upcoming Alex Garland film Annihilation.
Based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, Natalie Portman stars as a biologist who leads a team into a quarantined area of wild and seemingly alien plant life. Equally harrowing is the debriefing she experiences upon returning from the site. What did she find in there? And why did her husband (Oscar Isaac) volunteer to go? And why is life mutating rapidly inside the zone?
Honestly, this movie looks creepy and wild. Unfortunately, a battle has raged behind the scenes with Garland and producer Scott Rudin fighting for their preferred cut of the film after it went poorly with test audiences. According to The Playlist, producer David Ellison wanted to alter the film as it came to be perceived as “too intellectual.” A ridiculous notion which suggests the film was tested with the wrong audience. Or, perhaps, tested on an audience predetermined to reach that conclusion.
No matter the reality of the test screening, Paramount cut their perceived losses by selling the international distribution rights (excluding China) to Netflix, who will release the film in foreign markets one week after it debuts in the US.
But when you watch this trailer, there’s a strange confidence to it. So, at the very least, the trailer editor knows what they’re doing. But does Paramount? We’ll find out when Annihilation comes to US theaters on February 23, 2018.