Extinction: “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland films the sci-fi novel of the same name with Natalie Portman as a biologist advancing into an unexplored zone.
Area X is a secluded area completely cut off from the rest of the world since a mysterious incident. Nobody knows what’s happening in this region. The first eleven missions to explore Area X have failed. The participants either died of cancer or suffered severe mental trauma. On behalf of the secret government organization “Southern Reach” now a new expedition to penetrate the area.
The new research mission consists of four women: a biologist (Natalie Portman), an anthropologist (Gina Rodriguez), a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a surveyor (Tessa Thompson). As they enter Area X, the four women discover a strange environment that seems to be being manipulated by a foreign existence. Wild nature overgrows all traces of human civilization. Soon, the researchers also notice first changes to themselves.
With the “Southern Reach” novel trilogy Jeff VanderMeers has presented a celebrated science fiction epic. The first part “Extinction” (original title: “Annihalition”) is being filmed by none other than “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland. Whether the film is just the first part of a trilogy is still unclear. The first novel is followed by the two parts “authority” (OT: “Authority”) and “acceptance” (“Acceptance”).
The starting scenario of the novel adaptation should not be completely unknown to science fiction fans. After all, Andrej Tarkowski’s classic “Stalker” is about an expedition to a forbidden zone that has been cut off from the rest of the world since an accident.