The next feature film of "Ex Machina" director Alex Garland will be based on the sci-fi novel "Annihilation" written by author Jeff VanderMeer. "Annihilation" is considered one of the best sci-fi novels to come out in the 21st century, winning the Nebula award back in 2014 -- a literary award handed out to novels in the science fiction and fantasy genres.

VanderMeer, who saw an early cut of the film, was especially blown away by the ending, saying it evoked the same mind-blowing style of Stanley Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey," a film often considered to be one of the staples of cinema.

With such high praise already associated with the film, the question of what expect from it is definitely something to look forward to.

Film vs. novel

While little is known about the film, it seems as though the adaptation will follow the basic premise of the book. The novel is about a group of four, consisting of a biologist, psychologist, anthropologist, and surveyor setting out to explore an environmental disaster zone referred to as “Area X." The group is the 12th expedition squad to explore the area, with previous expedition groups being mysteriously plagued by disappearances, suicides, cancer, and mental trauma.

However, according to VanderMeer, Garland has taken many liberties with the story -- for which he is both the director and writer of the film. Garland made sure to keep VanderMeer in the loop during the writing and filming of movie, although VanderMeer claims it was more to keep him updated rather than for his input. As described by VanderMeer, the film is certainly far more surreal than the source material.

Details about the film and director

While little is known about the movie as of now, what is known is that it will star Natalie Portman in the lead role as a biologist searching for her husband who disappeared in the previous expedition into the aforementioned “Area X." The film will also star Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac and Tessa Thompson.

While it was previously meant to be released later this fall, Paramount Pictures decided to move up the release date to sometime next year.

This will be Garland’s second feature film. There’s no doubt that after his first feature film, Garland has found himself on many people’s radars -- viewers and colleagues alike. If "Ex Machina" is any indication, "Annihilation" will be a film to watch out for in 2018.