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Annihilation Teaser Trailer Gives Us the Fierce, Female-Fronted Sci-Fi We Deserve

Yesterday’s “Things We Saw Today” delivered a first glimpse of the upcoming Alex Garland female-led sci-fi film, Annihilation, which is based on the best-selling novel by Jeff VanderMeer. Today, we have our first teaser trailer, and it’s glorious and weird. Exactly what we’d expect from an Alex Garland film.

This teaser focuses on the character played by Natalie Portman, who heads up a team of female scientists (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson) as they go into an environmental disaster zone to save her husband (Garland sci-fi staple, Oscar Isaac).

That’s right. Padme Amidala and Poe Dameron are married.

This teaser trailer is striking for a number of reasons. The visuals are gorgeous, and while we knew from Ex Machina that Garland has a great sense of style and composition in his work, this film looks much more rich and beautiful. Another striking visual? Four women marching through an adventure.

One of my favorite things about this teaser is that we’re getting one of the rare instances in film where it’s the loss of a husband that becomes the catalyst for a female protagonist’s action, when usually it’s the other way around. Even better is that she’s surrounded by other women in her quest, so the film steers clear of the Smurfette Principle.

Though, I suppose we have VanderMeer’s novel to thank for that, as the film’s source material. What’s cool, though, is that Garland seems to have taken the female-heavy cast of characters as a given, and what really drew him to telling the story was the feel of the book. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Garland said this of reading the book for the first time: “I found the atmosphere incredibly strong and I liked the kind of dream state that it created and put me in. It had all sorts of qualities that I found really interesting. I thought immediately, Yes, I’d like to try this.”

What I want, what I really, really want, is more female-led sci-fi told by women (female writer, female director). That said, Garland is a filmmaker I’ve come to trust, and I think its the responsibility of storytellers with privilege to make sure that the stories they’re telling aren’t limited to their own experience. To ensure that the stories they’re putting out in the world actually reflect the world. I’m looking forward to seeing this diverse group of women go on a great and terrifying adventure!

Annihilation arrives in theaters in February 2018.

(via IndieWire, image: screencap)

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