For those who have been fans of Alex Garland’s written work and his cinematic directorial debut “Ex Machina,” “Annihilation” was eagerly anticipated. “Annihilation” was based on Jeff VanderMeer’s original novel of the same name, which was also the first part of a cerebral and mysterious trilogy known as “The Southern Reach.” Reading the original novel, it became clear that adapting it wasn’t going to be easy and when the trailer eventually came out, it diverted a lot from the source material.
Many feared that the finished film was compromised by the studio, as reports leaked out about how the main financier was worried that the film was ”too intellectual.” The film was originally supposed to be distributed by Paramount, but had then been sold to Netflix after poor test screenings.
Only those who lived in either the United States, Canada or China had the virtue of seeing this splendorous film in theaters, while the rest of Europe and the UK had to be content with streaming it via Netflix.
One apparent difference from the novel and the trailer was its emphasis on monster horror. Though there were hints of monster action in the novel, it was mostly kept to the reader’s imagination as the main character – named ‘the biologist’ in the book – would find the gory remains of numerous victims instead of witnessing actual slaughter. In the trailer, we already saw a strange bearlike organism attack the main characters. This could have been perceived as a studio mandate – stripping down the film’s intellectualism and bulking up conventional horror beats.
It turns out that we had nothing to fear. Garland won the final cut and “Annihilation” is his complete vision. In a strange twist, the changes to the novel worked, not just because they translate better to the medium of → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema