Oscar Isaac has been cast alongside Natalie Portman and The Hateful Eight star Jennifer Jason Leigh in Alex Garland's upcoming sci-fi thriller Annihilation, according to The Tracking Board. The project will mark Isaac's second time working with Garland, who made his directorial debut in 2015 with Oscar-winning film Ex Machina.
As well as Leigh and Portman, Isaac would also join existing cast members Tessa Thompson (Creed) and Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin) for the new film, which has so far consisted of an all-female ensemble. The screenplay will likely be adapted by Garland himself, based upon the first novel in the Southern Reach trilogy written by author Jeff VanderMeer.
The story follows the expedition of these four professionals – an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist and a biologist – as they go to the mysterious Area X, a portion of land in the US that has been secretly quarantined due to abnormal activity. This particular team make up the 12th expedition sent into Area X on behalf of the mysterious Southern Reach organisation but their efforts might just turn out to be perilous given the area's track record. The second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as the members turned on one another, and the eleventh expedition returned as shells of their former selves, all dying of cancer shortly after returning home.
Garland is no stranger to slightly unsettling sci-fi stories, having written screenplays to films such as Sunshine and 28 Days Later, as well as Ex Machina of course. He also seems a good choice when it comes to adapting novels for the big screen as he has done similar work in the past on movies The Coma and The Beach. Scott Rudin is set to produce, alongside Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich, all of whom have collaborated with Garland on previous projects.
Isaac can currently be seen in cinemas in thriller Mojave, opposite Pan actor Garrett Hedlund. He will also appear in Fox's hotly-anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse alongside Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, as the titular villain in April.
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