By Clark Collis
September 27, 2017 at 10:08 AM EDT

When EW spoke with Annihilation writer-director Alex Garland earlier this week, the filmmaker said that his plan in adapting Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 science fiction novel was to make something very weird and very beautiful. “That’s what we were shooting for,” says Garland. “The beauty part of it was quite important. Even when it’s grim, and something dark is happening, there’s quite an overt beauty, and we took pains to make sure that happened.” Well, it seems to be a case of “mission accomplished” judging by the just-released first teaser trailer for the film, which arrives in theaters on Feb. 23.

Natalie Portman stars in the movie as a scientist named Lena, who is part of an expedition tasked with exploring an area which has been taken over by a mysterious force. “[She] finds a very strange, dream-like, surrealist landscape, and goes deeper and deeper into that world, and also into that mindset,” said Garland the writer of 28 Days Later and the writer-director of Ex Machina. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tuva Novotny, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson costar as Lena’s fellow team members, while Oscar Isaac plays Portman’s husband. 

Watch the teaser for Annihilation, above.

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release date
  • 02/23/18
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