Let's get this out of the way upfront: Alex Garland's Annihilation is one of the best movies of 2018, and one of the best science fiction movies of the past decade. Relegated to a quickie theatrical release and a Netflix rollout after Paramount execs doubted the film's ability to make a dent at the box office, it's a movie every last one of you should see as soon as humanly possible (and, hey, whatta ya know: it's available to rent or purchase on Amazon even as we speak). This movie deserved better than it got.
Even with that blink-and-you'll-miss-it release, Annihilation has amassed quite a following over the past few months. So much so, in fact, that one can't help but wonder if there's any chance - however slight! - of Garland returning to the property and making a sequel, a move that wouldn't be totally ridiculous given that Garland's film is based on the first of three novels that make up Jeff VanderMeer's "Southern Reach" trilogy.
Well, we may one day see an Annihilation sequel (ed. note - we won't), but it won't feature the involvement of Garland. In a new interview with IndieWire, the director makes it abundantly clear that he's already moved on from the property...and that he won't be coming back.
Says Garland (as quoted by The Playlist):
“I’ve got no objection to someone else doing that, but I’m not interested in the idea of a sequel. I feel like we made this movie and this is the movie we made.
“When the thing is done, I am done with it. I instantly start moving on, so I don’t even have an opinion on an Annihilation sequel. All the way through I was clear with everyone, from the studio to the cast, I told everyone that I didn’t really see it as part of a franchise. My goal was to make this film and do the best job I can. I didn’t even conceptualize it as the start of a trilogy. Sequels are just not something I’m interested in doing. It’s like when you don’t like steak, you don’t make the decision not to eat steak, you just don’t eat steak. I just don’t do sequels.”
That's pretty definitive! It's also precisely the sort of thing we'd expect Garland to say. Here's a guy who's always moving forward, always trying his hand at new things (he's gone from books to video games to movies, and will next be working in television), always looking to branch out. Plus, would anyone really expect him to return to the "Southern Reach" well after the distribution shenanigans that went on with Annihilation's release? That'd be a tall order.
Anyway, this isn't shocking news, but allow it to serve as a reminder that you should check out Annihilation as soon as possible. We really can't recommend it enough.