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Paramount to scale the Southern Reach with Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation

Mar. 27, 2013by: Kevin Woods

A new trilogy of books will be getting the big-screen treatment, but these aren't your typical young adult fare that have been getting all the attention from Tinseltown as of late. This particular series sounds just like the shot in the arse Hollywood has been needing in terms of adaptations to cater to a genre audience.

Paramount Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions have optioned the Jeff VanderMeer novel "Annihilation" and the two subsequent books in what he is calling his Southern Reach trilogy, according to Deadline. Slated to be published early next year, "Annihilation" tells the story of...

a biologist who, in seeking answers to her husband’s tragic disappearance, volunteers for an expedition into an area sealed off by the government for the last 30 years as an environmental disaster zone. A secret agency known as the Southern Reach has sent in 11 expeditions over those years to discover the truth about Area X, and those attempts were failures. The tale is narrated by the biologist attached to the mission. She and her team find a pristine wilderness, but they also notice quickly that the rules of nature and evolution seem to work a little differently. And the creature they find is dangerous.

Over on VanderMeer's offical website, Ecstatic Days, the author elaborates on what to expect from "Annihilation".

For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious, remote, and concealed by the government as an environmental disaster zone even though it is to all appearances pristine wilderness. For thirty years, too, the secret agency known as the Southern Reach has monitored Area X and sent in expeditions to try to discover the truth. Some expeditions have suffered terrible consequences. Others have reported nothing out of the ordinary. Now, as Area X seems to be changing and perhaps expanding, the next expedition will attempt to succeed where all others have failed. What is happening in Area X? What is the true nature of the invisible border that surrounds it?

Annihilation tells the story of the twelfth expedition through the narration of a nameless biologist attached to the mission. A reticent, solitary woman, the biologist brings her own personal secrets with her. She is accompanied by a psychologist, anthropologist, and surveyor, their stated mission to chart the wilderness, take samples, and expand the Southern Reach’s understanding of Area X.

But they soon find out that the information given to them about Area X is incomplete or inaccurate, and that they are being manipulated by forces both strange and all too familiar. The old abandoned lighthouse on the coast is more than it seems. A moaning in the distance at dusk appears to have no natural cause. A tunnel plunging into the ground isn’t on any map.

In Area X, they will all find out what it truly means to face the unknown. Adapt or die.

Sounds pretty intriguing! Scott Rudin will be producing the series alongside Eli Bush. We'll keep you posted on news on the Southern Reach trilogy as it rolls in.

Extra Tidbit: How does "Annihilation" and the Southern Reach Trilogy sound to you?
Source: Deadline

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