'Annihilation' Featurette: What's The Deal With The Shimmer?

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Not too long ago, we released our collective list of /Film's 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2018. Even though films like Avengers: Infinity War and The Incredibles 2 ended up near the top, our #1 film ended up being Alex Garland's new sci-fi thriller Annihilation.

Starring Natalie Portman, the film is based on Jeff VanderMeer's first novel in the author's Southern Reach Trilogy, and it follows a group of female scientists and scholars as they head into a strange phenomenon that has appeared on Earth known as The Shimmer. A new Annihilation featurette explains a little more what appears to be happening in The Shimmer, and it doesn't sound great for the human race.

Watch the Annihilation Featurette

While much of the footage in this featurette comes from the most recent theatrical trailer, there are some new snippets of footage and details on the expansion of The Shimmer itself. It appears this phenomenon has overtaken a military base in the Southern Reach, and whatever is inside The Shimmer for an extended period of time mutates, and that may end up including our team of scientists and scholars.

Natalie Portman plays a biologist motivated by not just her curious nature as a scientist, but also because her husband (Oscar Isaac) is the only person to come back alive from inside The Shimmer, albeit in poor shape. Joining her are Jennifer Jason Leigh as a psychologist and the leader of the expedition, an anthropologist played by Gina Rodriguez, a surveyor played by Tessa Thompson and a linguist played by Tuva Novotny.

This featurette reveals that The Shimmer has plenty of monstrous creatures lurking within, but coming from Ex Machina director Alex Garland, there's likely something much more cerebral at work here. After all, producer David Ellison at Skydance Productions was once said to be worried that the movie might be "too intellectual" and "too complicated" for general audiences. That's likely why the last trailer sold it as a movie more along the lines of Arrival meets Predator. Hopefully, that's not too misleading for audiences when the movie finally arrives next month.

If you want to see more, you can watch the theatrical trailer for Annihilation over here, but the first teaser trailer feels like a much better representation of the movie Alex Garland has made. Read the official synopsis below:

A group of soldiers enters an environmental disaster zone and only one soldier (Oscar Isaac) comes back out alive, though he is grievously injured. In an attempt to save his life, his wife Lena (Natalie Portman), a biologist, volunteers for another expedition into the zone to figure out what happened to him.

Annihilation hits theaters next month on February 23, 2018.