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Annihilation Director Doesn't Want To Make A Sequel

Annihilation director Alex Garland wants the film to be a one-and-done deal. 

When Garland launched Annihilation, his sci-fi thriller top-lined by Natalie Portman as a military scientist who journeys to a mysterious quarantined zone known as "The Shimmer," it stumbled a bit at the box office but drew in more attention than it knew what to do with. The same mind that made the brain-busting Ex Machina, a film no one should ever watch alone, was suddenly being compared to visionaries like Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky, and Annihilation was soon heralded as an iconic piece in the sprawling genre puzzle. That's all a roundabout way of saying people loved Annihilation, and most everyone wants a sequel — everyone except for Garland himself. 

Ahead of Annihilation's release on Blu-ray, Garland admitted that he has zero interest in continuing the story and isn't at all thinking about making a sequel, since that simply isn't something he does. 

"When the thing is done, I am done with it," Garland told IndieWire when discussing his filmmaking approach. "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."

Though Garland won't revisit the world of Annihilation in the future, he mentioned that he'll forever be grateful for how well the film was received and mentioned that he was moved by the critics who connected with the story and shared their own experiences with self-destructive tendencies. 

"There were pieces I read that people had written about the nature of self-destruction and depression and these kinds of internal collapses, and for me those were very effective on many levels," said the director. "One of them was just a huge sense of release. That some of the non-overt structure of the film hand landed with people, that affected me. You never know if that's going to be the case."

That said, Garland did have a moment where he stopped worrying about what people would think of the film and accepted that not everyone would have a personal reaction to it. 

"I somehow felt like I was told it wasn't going to work for everyone and so when it did, I was genuinely surprised," Garland noted. "I was truly taken aback by it. It was kind of amazing and moving to tell you the truth. You can't take the comparisons to Kubrick or Tarkovsky seriously, but the people talking about the way it related to a very personal aspect of their life or their psychology, now that was very powerful for me."

Now that Garland has moved on from Annihilation, he has a few other projects in the works: the tech thriller series Devs at FX and the fantasy film The Toymaker's Secret at TriStar.