'The Beach' Is Getting A New Adaptation, Says Alex Garland

Alex Garland's new movie Annihilation is in theaters right now, but the filmmaker got his start as a writer when his debut novel The Beach was published in 1996. The book was adapted into a movie in 2000 starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and now Garland says that a new adaptation is in the works. Read on for more about the latest The Beach adaptation.

The Past

Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) directed the movie version of The Beach, which was written for the screen by John Hodge. (That pair are currently in talks for the next Bond movie, by the way.) Garland's novel tells the story of a backpacker (DiCaprio) in Thailand who learns about an idyllic beach community that's cut off from the bustling tourism scene, and the time he spends in that isolated community.

Boyle injects the film with kinetic visuals and stylistic flourishes – I specifically remember DiCaprio's character believing he's in a video game at one point – and the film devolves into a psychedelic bit of madness as it approaches its conclusion. Take a look at the trailer:

The Future

The Playlist points us to a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session that Garland participated in while making the press rounds for Annihilation, and he fielded a question about whether there might ever be another version of The Beach:

So "someone very talented" is working on a new version, but it's unclear whether that will be for film or television. The Playlist also points out that Fox picked up a TV version of The Beach from Andrew Miller, a creator of The CW series The Secret Circle and the guy behind the new Tremors TV show. But that was way back in 2012, and nothing ever came of it. Could that be what Garland is referring to here, or is there an entirely different version of The Beach in the works from someone else? We'll have to wait and see.

Either way, it's easy to imagine a new version of this story as a limited series on a premium cable network or streaming service. The premise is certainly strong enough to sustain a few episodes of television, and would be a great opportunity to introduce the world to some new talent. (Though she'd already been working for some time already by then, the film version was my introduction to Tilda Swinton.)

I doubt this will happen, but it'd be fascinating to see Boyle return to direct a TV version of the story. Maybe he could do it for FX, the network where his series Trust is airing. He could even cast Ewan McGregor as one of the older characters this time around to make up for Boyle ditching the actor in the original movie. Boyle had promised the starring film role to McGregor, and the decision to go with DiCaprio instead caused a rift between Boyle and McGregor that lasted for years. But the two are friendly again now, so maybe another collaboration is in the cards.