Natalie Portman will Star in Alex Garland's 'Annihilation', Plus 'Ex Machina' Red Band Trailer

It's funny how a relatively low-key project can suddenly become so much more. A year ago Alex Garland set an adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer's sci-fi novel Annihilation as a future project, but little had been heard of it since. Then Ex Machina happened and suddenly everything Garland does is being watched like a hawk, like this morning when he reiterated it as his next project. And just like that, a cast is starting to assemble.

According to Variety, Natalie Portman is circling a lead role in the film which centers on a four-woman team sent into a dangerous, sealed park known as Area X, a location that has decimated every other team sent to explore it. Portman may not be alone as Julianne Moore and Tilda Swinton are also interested in working with Garland, who is suddenly a hotter commodity than ever.

Filming would begin by early 2016 just to fit around Natalie Portman's schedule, so expect all sides to strike a deal to make that happen.

Meanwhile, Garland's Ex Machina is expanding to over 2000 theaters tomorrow, fitting for the sleeper hit of the year so far. And to help get the word out a bit more, plus show some of the thought-provoking film's more risque aspects, here's a brand new red band trailer about the artificial intelligence drama. Domhnall Gleeson stars as lowly worker bee for a brilliant tech genius played by Oscar Isaac, who is summoned to his boss' isolated estate to perform the Turing Test on his latest invention: a sexy robot named Eva, played by Alicia Vikander.