While some directors are more than happy to stay in their comfort zones, Alex Garland likes to push and test himself with each new project.
After making his debut with the claustrophobic and intense “Ex Machina” it was understandable that Garland would move onto the more expansive and terrifying “Annihilation,” which will hit cinemas at the end of this week.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to speak to Garland about the film, during which time I also quizzed the filmmaker about his future, specifically whether or not his next project will intentionally be very different to “Annihilation.”
“It always is,” Garland insisted. "The thing I do is basically a reaction against the thing I just did. Trying to stay engaged and trying to stay moving.”
“Because the other thing is you get frustrated. After 3 years in the same space you want to do something else. It is why I have never understood sequels and franchises and stuff like that.”
Garland then went into more detail about his upcoming work as a writer and director, which will see him move into television.
“It is a kind of tech thriller set in Silicon Valley that is for FX. It is an 8-part series. It is really about big data and massive processing power and some of the implications of that.”
“It is all written and greenlit and barring disaster I will be shooting it later this year, maybe in 6 months. I have just started the process of casting and finding locations. It should be with you in 2019. But stuff happens.”
Since all of these projects come from the mind of Garland there are bound to be similarities. In the case of “Annihilation” and “Ex Machina” the film’s characters are on a dangerous pursuit of knowledge at all costs.
It sounds as though this could be explored in even more depth in his new television show, because when I mentioned this running thread in his work to Garland he immediately brought up his Silicon Valley based tech thriller.
“I just think that’s what we do,” responded Garland. “I have been in Silicon Valley, because the next thing I am working on I am setting there, and that place is teeming with people who are pursuing knowledge data and technology at all costs.”
“They’re not thinking about the costs. They’re just going for it. That’s what Oppenheimer did when he led the team that created the atomic bomb, and it happens all over the world endlessly, on a personal and corporate level.”
While we have at least a year to wait before we see Alex Garland’s shift to television, you can take in his sophomore effort as a director “Annihilation” when it hits cinemas on Friday.