I am Alex Garland the writer and director of the new film Annihilation AMA

Alex Garland here. I’m a writer/director who has worked in books, film and video games, on projects such as 28 Days Later, Dredd, Sunshine and Ex Machina. My newest film, [Annihilation](https://youtu.be/89OP78l9oF0), will be released in the US – in theatres [Feb 23rd] (http://tickets.annihilationmovie.com).

Thank you so much for joining me. Watch Annihilation February 23.

Proof: https://twitter.com/AnnihilationMov/status/961645815730126852

View Reddit by Alex_GarlandView Source

75 thoughts on “I am Alex Garland the writer and director of the new film Annihilation AMA

  1. akodini February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Any plans for another 28 days/weeks/months/years movie? Love the first one which you wrote and the second you executively produced.

  2. burritomeat February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex

    Were budgets and profits no issue, what would your dream project be?

  3. Kill_Me_Now_World February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex all your films kick-ass! What, in your opinion, is something new Annihilation will bring to the table?

  4. Tomahawkeye12 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Loved *Ex Machina*, very excited for *Annihilation*. Thanks for doing this!

    How do you feel about the impact Netflix is having on traditional distribution models? It’s obviously having an impact for *Annihilation*.

  5. UniversalWaste February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex. After hearing you would be directing the adaptation to Annihilation, I immediately listened to the entire Southern Reach trilogy.

    1. Is your story like the book, in that it is open-ended and available for an expanded universe, or did you go for a more contained, complete story?

    2. Are you a fan of Roadside Picnic or Stalker? Did they influence you when developing this adaptation?

    3. Who is(or are) your favorite small-budget director(s) today?


  6. teawithwho February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What would you say to your teenage self?

  7. OrangeKookie February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What was it like to work with Lena Headey on Dredd? And any chance of a sequel?

  8. mitchorr February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Gutted this will not get a UK cinema release.

    Is there any good reason other than money that it’s going straight to Netflix?

  9. Kazrules February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    How different is it adapting a book than adapting a story you came up with? Did you meet Jeff VanderMeer and have you read the series?

    I love your work!

  10. calebfitz February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    How was working with Natalie Portman?

  11. benagain1 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex! You began your career as a novelist before you moving into screenwriting. Is screenwriting something you always wanted to do or was it more of a natural transition? And can you talk a little about how your writing process differs between the two?

    Thanks for doing this and can’t wait to see Annihilation!

  12. QuikTlk February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex!
    I recently read an interview where you said that you don’t do a lot of outlining for your scripts, but instead, you make a list of points you need to hit, which you delete as you go.

    Have there been any points where you have hit a dead end, unsure where to go? And if so, how did you overcome it?

  13. dead-ced-dead February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex,

    While I love the ending of Sunshine, it has proved to be quite divisive, with some critics complaining that the last act was like a slasher movie in space.

    (SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T SEEN IT) Was it always the plan to have Pinbacker from Icarus I (played brilliantly by Mark Strong) invade Icarus II and try to kill the crew and sabotage the mission, or were other endings considered when you wrote it?

  14. moderatelyremarkable February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hello, Alex. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a movie before. I absolutely loved the Southern Reach trilogy as well as Ex Machina. I’m convinced something great must come out of this. Also, the trailers look amazing and the reviews are very good. Can’t wait. My questions:

    * I’m located in continental Europe and will be in London on 3-4 March. Any chance I’ll get to see the movie on the big screen in London at some independent theater?

    * Any chance the Netflix release date will be pushed closer to the US theatrical release?

    * Anything you can share about future plans?

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  15. deadpool902 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    In the massive wave of comic book films, *Dredd* is still to me among the most well-written, so my question to you is:

    **If given the chance, which comic book characters would you want to write/direct?**

  16. fozzibare February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    The Beach is still my favourite novel and was really disappointed how the film was Americanized. I felt it missed out or changed a lot of key facts that contributed to Richards paranoia. What were your thoughts on the film version?

  17. insert_name_here February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What kind of tone will your FX series strike? Also: you’ve tackled artificial humans quite compellingly in Ex Machina. How do you feel about works such as Blade Runner 2049, Westworld, and Nier: Automata, which all tackle similar themes?

  18. OriginalWilson February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex,

    I’m excited for Annihilation, being quite a fan of your previous films and of the Southern Reach trilogy. From what I’ve seen so far, the movie seems to be more of your interpretation of Annihilation vs. being a direct adaption. My question – how did you decide what things to take from the book and what to leave out? How does that process work and did Jeff provide any input?


  19. WeAreFutureStudies February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex, thanks for doing this! Your work is **incredible**. My band made some music with Ex Machina on in the background for inspiration (as you do!) and ended up cutting our own song to the visuals. I hope you can take a look.

    [An Open Letter To Alex Garland (Vimeo)]

    P.S Good luck with Annihilation – I just finished reading the book so can’t wait to see what you do with the movie!

  20. Catcontroller February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex,

    I read you had Domhnall Gleeson in mind when writing the screenplay for Ex Machina. Did you have any actors in mind when writing Annihilation and if so did they live up to the image of the character you had in your head.

  21. Tokyo133 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    You should make a movie with Sonoya Mizuno as the protagonist .

  22. DD_Commander February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What is it like to make a movie with an established fan base like Dredd? Always wondered if there were any unique challenges/decisions to focus on.

  23. nalahiri February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex, huge fan here. In terms of inspiration, what artists of the past (directors, writers and the like) would you say have had the greatest influence on you?

    Cannot wait for Annihilation!

  24. AllThePrettyVisitors February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    The cast of Ex Machine gave stellar performances – what was the casting process like? Did you know from the get go that you wanted Domhnall, Oscar, and Alicia for those roles?

    Thanks for doing this AMA Alex!

  25. rhllor February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    1. How did you go about picking the names of the places in *The Tesseract*? Were they all deliberate or just an Easter Egg for Tagalog speakers?

    2. Have you written or do you have plans for another novel in the backburner?

    3. Other than Richard, are any of the other characters in *The Beach* based on real people?

  26. lilfresh28 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hello Alex!

    You’re one of my favorite writer/directors working today, and Ex Machina is one of my favorite films of all time. I was actually really jealous while watching it, as it’s basically the exact type of script I would have loved to write someday!

    How did your writing process with Annihilation compare to the process you went through in writing Ex Machina? Was it more difficult since it was an adaptation, or did you find it easier?

    Thanks for doing this! I can’t wait to watch the film!

  27. ConnorFromCanada February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    How important is ambiguity in your movies? Should audiences get the full picture walking out of the movie or do you like them guessing.?

  28. AmirMoosavi February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Since I saw Ex Machina I’ve been dying to visit Norway to see that stunning scenery and stay at The Juvet where you shot some of the interiors. How did you come across The Juvet, and what was it like shooting in Norway?

    Also, I know you’re a big gamer; have you tried VR yet? Would you ever consider making a film or an “experience” in VR?

  29. jrbrmrd February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What brought you to directing after writing for some time?

    Is Annihilation based on the trilogy or just the first book?

    Thank you.

  30. Nasalcavitycancer February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex, love your films. As an avid sci-fi fan I can’t help but notice your films(mainly ex machina) often have that slow-pacing that is reminiscent of films from greats like Tarkovsky that allow the viewer to really become immersed into your world. Who would you say is a the greatest influence in your films? Is there a particular filmmaker/film outside of scifi that particularly influences you? Thanks!

  31. zachliveshere February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex, massive fan of Ex-Machina.
    Just wondering how you felt about the decision to release Annihilation internationally via streaming services? Was it a compromise you were satisfied with if it meant not having to alter the film itself?

  32. bracake February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex, marry me. Have you ever had an actor in your film surprise you with a performance? A take you didn’t expect?

  33. Sanjayy3 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi, Alex! Looking forward to watching Annihilation, and your FX-show.

    Did you play any good video games this year? Books, movies you would recommend?
    Hope you have a good day!

  34. redskarlet February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Can you dance as well as Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina? Also, loved Ex Machina and The Beach novel! Looking forward to Annihilation!

  35. the_frank_truth February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Thank you for taking time to answer your questions. I finished reading Annihilation this morning, and can not wait to see how you translate it to the screen.

    With The Beach and now Ex Machine making their way onto university syllabuses in the UK, how does it feel to know your books are being looked at in such detail? Is it strange to see books being written about your own work?

  36. skrulewi February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex!

    Was there significant studio pressure, from up top, to change Annihilation ?

  37. Pod-People-Person February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hello Alex! Big fan of *28 Days Later*, *Sunshine* and *DREDD*.

    What were the differences between making *Annihilation* and *Ex Machina* filmming wise? Was it technically more challenging? Did you use the same cameras and lenses?

  38. BigGreekMike February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What are your thoughts on film vs digital? Would you ever consider shooting a film on 35 or 65?

  39. Portoreekan February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Ex machina renewed my hope for the sci fi genre. It was so amazing.

    What are your favorite themes to explore and why do you find sci fi the best way to explore it?

  40. nightfishin February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Do you have any favorite authors?

  41. kyrgrat08 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    About how long did you work on the script for *Ex Machina*?

  42. CMTempest February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex, I’m a huge fan of Ex-Machina. It was my favorite movie of 2015. I was just wondering what it was about Annihilation that interested you and why you decided on it for your next project? I think the book was great but didn’t exactly lense itself to being adapted into a film. I’m very excited to see what you’ve done with it however.

  43. Freelove_Freeway February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Thanks for doing the AMA, I can’t wait to check out Annihilation! I’ve been a huge fan of your work ever since The Beach and I remember reading both The Tesseract and The Coma in one sitting on their release days. I’ve since followed your work and, no matter the medium, you haven’t disappointed since. Now that the gushing is out of the way, I have a couple of questions that I’d love to see answered:

    – Do you think there will ever be another shot at adapting The Beach? Would you be interested in doing it at all, or rather leave it to others? I always thought making it a one off mini-series, like Band of Brothers, would be a great way to adapt the book.

    – Any plans to write another novel someday or are you focused on film from here on?

    – At the risk of sounding weird, I always travel with a copy of The Beach in my bag. Always. It has become some what of a luck charm for me and I hope one day to get it signed. In case the chance ever comes (and to be respectful), are you cool with fans approaching for that sort of thing? I’ve heard you highly value privacy and wouldn’t want to impose on that if so.

    – Lastly, do you have recommendations of books, movies, authors, or directors that you think we should check out?

    Thanks again for all the entertainment that makes me think, hoping Annihilation is a success!

  44. DRHST February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What’s the reason for using the Sony CineAlta F65 ? It’s a fairly old camera.

  45. NitrateFilmFires February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    I’ve been wondering about this question for the past few years after seeing Ex Machina:
    **Will we ever get to see what Ava does out in our world?**

  46. VenZallow February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Is there ever going to be an Ex Machina sequel?

  47. impatrickt February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    The dance scene in Ex Machina is one of my favorite moments in cinema. Can we expect anything similar in Annihilation? Thanks for chatting!

  48. Jw1592 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi, huge fan!

    You started as a novelist & screenwriter before moving into writing/directing. I have a couple features of which I am really proud. My most bonkers script, for example, is a biting satire about Tom Cruise as he tries to make an L. Ron Hubbard biopic. How do I get my shit read?

    Thanks! Excited to see the movie, and glad I get to see it in theaters since I’m in the US!

  49. GumbyMeetPokey February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Psst, hey kid, over here.

    Wanna shoehorn Cloverfield in to your movie?

  50. drwasheewashee February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    I’m gonna assume your a fan of the Dredd comics since your were the screenwriter so I just wanted to ask what comics (not from Marvel or DC) you’d like to adapt or are keen to see adapted

  51. LynxEveryone February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Could you talk about your collaboration with Jalmari Helander on “Big Game”? I read a book about the making of the film and learned that you worked with them on the script.


  52. jamesornames312 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex, big fan of Ex Machina, can’t wait for Annihilation.

    How hard was it to work with the book’s strangeness and weirdness? Thanks for your time!

  53. Morf123 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What is your favorite movie of all time?

  54. lgnxhll February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi alex, what sort of stuff influenced you in making exmachina?

  55. vma2001 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hey Alex! I’m a huge fan of your work and can’t wait to see ‘Annihilation’, I have two questions for you:

    1. With the recent rise of superhero films, would you be willing to do one, if so what hero would you want to tel the story of? I’d love for you to do ‘Titans’ or ‘Cyborg’!

    2. With the also recent rise of biopics, who would your dream biopic be about?

    Hope you answer them!

  56. dialMARK4acti0n February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    I really enjoyed your work in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.

    Have you ever considered doing a video game project again?

  57. emilyguy February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Does Anderson gets the job in Dredd ?

  58. nashcameronn February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    I was watching Logan’s Run the other day and it made me think that movie really needs a remake and how you’d be perfect for it. Is that something you’d have any interest in doing?

  59. onthecheese February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Alex, thank you for Ex Machina. I watch a lot of movies and it’s rare for a movie to get me to think and feel as much as that one did. It makes me genuinely happy to be able to own it and watch it whenever I want to.

    Now I’m going to be excited about anything you make so obviously I can’t fucking wait for Annihilation.

    My question: If you could choose the next project for your favorite director, what would it be?

  60. Dpate10 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What are your favourite sci-fi films?

  61. DoNotMatter February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Which of your projects was the most fulfilling to work on? Out of the projects you’ve written but not directed, which director was the most willing to adapt your original vision?

  62. DonotheTurtle February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    M. Garland

    How different were your approach for Annihilation after the success of your first directing credit, Ex Machina? (wich is a masterpiece btw)

    Love your work, looking foward for future projects

  63. barnesenrab February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Will there be another 28 later movie?

  64. dziki_szaman February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hello. What’s next after the Annihilation ? What is your favorite movie ? Could you recommend any new, unknown directors/movies that in your opinion require more attention and support ? I consider you to be one of the best directors on the scene nowadays. Everything you are working on leave a positive mark in my memory and for the whole genre. Could watch your movies on repeat and never get bored. There’s like some additional few layers of depth in them. Thank you. Having high hopes for Annihilation. Been waiting for it since Ex Machina.

  65. bigblue21 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex, love your work.
    I was wondering what you think of the film adaptation of The Beach?

  66. grundo1561 February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Ex Machina is one of my favorite films of all time – I saw it in theaters three times!

    Will Annihilation be similarly mind-bending?

  67. szabcsesz February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex! Im Szabolcs from Hungary (i’m sorry about my grammar!)
    U are AMAZING!!
    My question is, how was working whit Natalie Portman?
    Why are u choose her to the leading role?
    Anyway, thanks very much for that!! 😊❤️
    Thank you for your answer!

  68. ElectronicInternal February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Given that Ex Machina is a masterpiece… Whats your favourite alcoholic or soft drink to wind down after a long day

  69. diypackraft February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    “The Beach” is one of my favourite books.


  70. McWonka February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    The Beach is one of the greatest books ever written and reading it changed me. Thank you.

  71. Mr_RobotNick February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    I would most definitely watch 28 months later.

    Will you ever start working on it? Its all I think about 🙁

  72. downtheway February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi Alex!

    Any plans for Dredd 2?

  73. TenseRevolution February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Mr. Garland, i hope you read this because I am extremely fond of your work, 28 days later is one of my all time favorite films and I am excited about your newest film Annihilation which is looking to be another great hit in movie cinemas. My question is I am trying to get a project dont with a friend of mine but we have very limited gear almost close to none. What is your advice to Filmmakers who are dying to make a film but dont have the means to spend any money except on very small stuff like jsut a camera and maybe sound. In essence I want to know whats your idea of a good route to take with a limited budget. Thank you.

  74. knatel February 12, 2018 / 6:01 am

    What do you think is the most valuable skill-set for a writer/director to have? Asking as an aspiring filmmaker. Thanks!

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