Ex Machina writer-director Alex Garland may soon add another lead to his upcoming sci-fi film Anihilation, Jennifer Jason Leigh, hot off a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination, would join a female-centric cast made up of Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson.
The film will be based upon the novel by Jeff VanderMeer and produced by Scott Rudin. The novel, the first volume in Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy sci-fi series, follows a group of four women who, as part of the twelfth expedition, venture out on a dangerous mission to a contaminated land called Area X.
The group is made up of an anthropologist, a psychologist, a surveyor and a biologist (who also acts as the group’s leader and the story’s narrator). According to TheWrap, Leigh has been made an offer to co-star and is eager to join but a deal has yet to be locked down. No word yet on which character she would play.
Leigh has been making a strong comeback, much thanks to her role as Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight — which led to her receiving a slew of nominations including a Golden Globe and, most recently, an Oscar. She also provided key voice work in Charlie Kaufman’s animated feature Anomalisa and is expected to appear in Rob Reiner’s upcoming LBJ and David Lynch’s 2017 Twin Peaks revival.
While Garland has recently been announced as the screenwriter on the forthcoming Halo movie, this will act as his writer-director followup to the critically-acclaimed sci-fi drama Ex Machina.