Paramount to Adapt Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation

Jason McDonald

It’s a weird business where studios purchase the rights to adapt books that haven’t come out yet.  Paramount is the latest studio to gamble on an untested franchise as Deadline has reported that they have purchased the rights to adapt Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation and the two follow up books in the Southern Reach trilogy.

The book wont be published till next year, but Paramount must’ve seen something they liked to move so quickly on the potential franchise.  Reports indicate that they even paid a “sizable” amount for the rights.  Really, it’s just a smart move on Paramount’s part.  Whether or not the books are great, it’s better for them to be in early control of a potentially big franchise than risk letting a competitor pick up the rights.

Here’s a description we have for the first book:

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.

Sounds like an interesting premise, but I wonder if Paramount sees this as a feature film or a possible TV series?  I could definitely see a series in the vein of Lost or The River coming out of a work like this.  What do you think?

Jeff Vandermeer


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