New Behind-the-Scenes ‘Annihilation’ Video Explains the Mysterious Shimmer
There’s a few reasons to be pumped for Annihilation. For one, it’s Alex Garland’s much-anticipated follow-up to Ex Machina. It has a stellar all-female lead cast (and Oscar Isaac in a supporting role doesn’t hurt, either). But most exciting, it’s an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 sci-fi novel of the same name, a trippy psychological page-turner about five women venturing into a mysterious region. I recently finished the book, and I’m itching to know how, exactly, Garland can pull off depicting VanderMeer’s world, one that’s so vividly and sensorily detailed it could prove tricky to translate to the screen. But it’s already clear from the promo material that the movie will differ from the book.
In the film, Natalie Portman’s Lena is a part of a group of women who volunteered to venture into the mysterious Area X, a region on the American coastline full of biological anomalies and mutations. In a new behind-the-scenes featurette, Portman describes the Shimmer – a term not in the book – as a phenomenon that’s happened in the coastline region. “They don’t know what’s happened to all of the people who have gone in and haven’t come back,” she said. Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is playing a psychologist named Dr. Ventress, describes this Shimmer as something that’s quickly expanding and will soon be devouring cities. Sounds ominous for sure!
There isn’t a ton of new footage in this that we haven’t already seen in the trailers, but near the end there are some brief shots of Portman with a sort of white light radiating around here that will be fun for book readers to spot. However this movie turns out, it sure as heck looks visually stunning. Here’s the new full synopsis:
Lena, 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.
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