Men Director Alex Garland Teases His Next War Movie, Calls It 'Pure Surrealism'

The latest Alex Garland-directed film, "Men," is hitting theaters in the U.S. and the U.K. very shortly. The reactions are wildly positive so far, though I'm doing my very best to stay away from any spoilers. If you're doing the same, the simple synopsis is that a young woman (Jessie Buckley) goes on a holiday by herself in the English countryside after the death of her husband. I don't want to know anything else and you probably don't either. 

That said, Garland has some interesting information about his next film, "Civil War," that he spoke about during a roundtable interview for "Men" attended by /Film. He's using the words "pure surrealism," and if you've seen any of his previous work including "Ex Machina" or "Annihilation," you know that this is par for the course. By the way, if you haven't seen either of those films yet, please put them right at the top of your list. They are both incredible and weird and absolutely wonderful. If you have to pick one, go with "Ex Machina," and fear for the future of AI.

Polar bears in the sun

During the roundtable, Garland said of "Civil War:"

"I'm shooting a film right now, out in Atlanta. And it's a war movie. And we came across by the side of the road, when we were on tech scouts, looking for locations, a bunch of abandoned Christmas decorations from somebody who'd set up a winter Wonderland to charge families, and then they'd gone bankrupt and this stuff was just scattered all over fields. And I said, 'Grab it, talk to the guy who owns the fields, let's have it and we'll use it as a backdrop.'

And that is pure surrealism. You're in Atlanta, it's in hot sunshine, and everywhere is covered in penguins and polar bears, and Christmas trees and elves. And I didn't create that, that was found in the world."

Now I have no idea during what time period the film is set, but considering it's about a Civil War ... well, that could mean the one we already had or the one that feels like it's been on the way for almost a decade now. It's terrifying either way. 

There is also something so ominous about winter decorations in a summer setting. It's joy, abandoned. It's the ruins of a celebration. The sadness of memory. Oof. Maybe I should watch fewer Alex Garland films? No. Definitely not. This actually sounds terrifying and surreal (as he said), and I cannot wait to see what this all portends. 

"Men" also stars Rory Kinnear. It hits theaters in the United States on May 20, 2022, and in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2022.