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The Full Annihilation Trailer Looks Amazing! It Just Needs 200% More Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez

Here at TMS, we’ve been excited for Annihilation, the female-led adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, since we first saw the production stills and teaser trailer. Starring a diverse team of women explorer-scientists, with gorgeous visuals from Ex Machina director Alex Garland, and adapted from stellar source material, it was shaping up to be one of my most anticipated movies of 2018. And now we’ve got a full-length trailer!

The full trailer focuses very tightly on Natalie Portman’s character, ominously referred to as only The Biologist on IMDB; she gets all the close-ups, and we’re led through the trailer from her perspective, as she discovers that something’s happened to her husband (Oscar Isaac) while he was on an expedition into an area called “The Shimmer.” The Biologist then ventures into The Shimmer herself, with a team of crack female scientists, to investigate what happened and what exactly The Shimmer is doing.

As a result of the trailer’s framing, we don’t get to see as much of the characters played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson. I was hoping for more of an ensemble piece, given Rodriguez’s popularity after Jane the Virgin and Thompson’s star turn in Thor: Ragnarok, but this trailer is quite Portman-centric. Of course, this might just a matter of marketing. Trailers are tailored for simplicity, to quickly convey a pitch and lure people to the theater, so that might be why it was cut this way. Here’s hoping the movie itself doesn’t save all the meaningful arcs for the white women. (Particularly since Thompson, according to IMDB, plays the Surveyor.)

That said, I do love how this trailer embraces the eco-horror/eco-Gothic vibe of VanderMeer’s book. The Shimmer itself looks a bit like soapy water, but the eerie creatures and unsettling flower-lichen-people tableaus were gorgeously creepy. I’m so excited for this world design to draw on all my worst fears from the nightmarescape that other people call “nature.”

I am also veeery into the soundtrack on this trailer, which comes from the team of Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, who have also scored Ex Machina and this upcoming season of Black Mirror.

But what’d you all think?

(featured image: screengrab)

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