It often feels like we’re living in the midst of a science fiction renaissance, and it appears that Natalie Portman is about to discover the dark, Lovecraftian heart at the center of it in Annihilation. Indeed, this latest bit of footage for Alex Garland’s upcoming mind-bender gives even more hints about the movie’s central mystery, “the Shimmer.”
In the film, Portman plays Lena, a biologist and wife who dares to enter an ecological disaster zone after an entity (or something) simply called “the Shimmer” begins to manifest. And as Lena’s husband (Oscar Isaac) is the only survivor of a group of soldiers who ventured into the Shimmer, she will need to join an expedition herself into that luminous unknown if she is going to figure out how to save her grievously wounded spouse.
This TV spot will premiere later tonight when Portman returns to host Saturday Night Live for the first time since 2006. Twelve years ago, she made the “Natalie Portman Rap” a viral sensation, which is fitting given that Annihilation itself has just launched its own viral marketing site.
If you copy the text of the below Tweet from the official Annihilation Twitter handle, and place it in the “Transmission Input” engine on their viral site here, you’ll get the first unlocked clip from the film. It will surely not be the last.
Annihilation is Alex Garland’s first film since the little sci-fi masterpiece, Ex Machina. A longtime writer of genre thrillers (28 Days Later, Sunshine, Dredd), Garland made the jump to writing and directing with Ex Machina, a film so fascinating that many still debate the ending—including when Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander revealed to us its original, freakier alternate ending in 2015.
Isaac reunites with Garland on Annihilation, which also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Gina Rodriguez.
Paramount Pictures will invite you to join Natalie Portman in the Shimmer on Feb. 23.