Annihilation deleted scene

Director Alex Garland recently spilled the beans on a lengthy Annihilation deleted scene that never made it into the final film. The scene in question featured more time spent at the mysterious Southern Reach facility.

Annihilation is burning up the box office! Just kidding; no one is going to see it. Which is a damn shame, since it’s fantastic. Eventually, people might come around and realize they slept on this remarkable sci-fi film. For now, though, we’ll have to accept the film as it is. Director Alex Garland took some time during his promotional rounds for the film to reveal the details behind a lengthy Annihilation deleted scene.

I briefly mentioned this specific scene in a story the other day about an alternate Annihilation ending in the original script. The scene in question involves Natalie Portman‘s character Lena navigating her way through a mysterious government facility operated by a shady organization known as The Southern Reach. Speaking with Collider, Garland explained the scene was about 10 minutes, and he cut it simply because it wasn’t working with the finished film. The director elaborates a bit more on the scene below:

“It’s this weird thing that happens in a script to seeing it, that things make sense sometimes when you’re reading it, but when you watch it, it immediately stops making sense. Essentially what happens in the sequence is that Natalie Portman, quite early on in the film is locked in a sort of chamber where she first meets Dr. Ventress and when Ventress leaves, Natalie’s character Lena is stuck there and she escapes from that chamber and knocks out a guard, takes his gun, shoots her way through a glass door, makes her way through the facility and finally busts out and sees the shimmer for the first time. It created a problem that her character goes from a state of real adversity with this corporation to then being taken on a mission to this place, and it’s a weird U-turn. And actually, it made more sense that she says I want to see this thing, and Ventress says OK and takes her to see it.”

You might think deleting an entire sequence from a film would cause possible plot holes or continuity errors. But Garland revealed that he was able to remove the scene with almost no problems, probably because he’s very good at his job:

“We didn’t reshoot anything, amazingly, it’s the kind of stuff that you can achieve in the edit. You use the dialogue, you do a hard cut, you take a little bit of film where she’s walking in her escape but she’s slowed down, she’s not running at that point, she’s walking and you use that bit, you do another hard cut to her stepping out and seeing the shimmer for the first time. Then, the sequence is gone and it makes more logical character sense.”

Hopefully we’ll get to see this scene when Annihilation hits Blu-ray. For now, Annihilation is playing in theaters in the U.S. Go see it before it’s gone.

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