Rights to Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy Optioned by Paramount

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Rights to Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy Optioned by ParamountAnother book trilogy looks to be heading to the big screen, but thankfully in this case it seems to be geared toward real adults, rather than young ones. Read on for the details of Paramount Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions’ acquisition of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach.

Per Deadline, Paramount and Rudin have optioned the Jeff VanderMeer novel Annihilation, slated to be published early next year, and the two subsequent books in his Southern Reach trilogy. Rudin and Eli Bush will produce.

As VanderMeer (pictured above) wrote in his blog, Ecstatic Days, upon finishing his first final draft of the book, Annihilation is about an expedition into a strange quarantined wilderness, narrated by the expedition’s biologist. I don’t really know how to describe it, except that it in part transforms my love of the wilderness of north Florida, especially the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, into something much stranger and more sinister.

He elaborated a bit later: For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious, remote, and concealed by the government as an environmental disaster zone even though it is to all appearances pristine wilderness. For thirty years, too, the secret agency known as the Southern Reach has monitored Area X and sent in expeditions to try to discover the truth. Some expeditions have suffered terrible consequences. Others have reported nothing out of the ordinary. Now, as Area X seems to be changing and perhaps expanding, the next expedition will attempt to succeed where all others have failed. What is happening in Area X? What is the true nature of the invisible border that surrounds it?

Annihilation tells the story of the twelfth expedition through the narration of a nameless biologist attached to the mission. A reticent, solitary woman, the biologist brings her own personal secrets with her. She is accompanied by a psychologist, anthropologist, and surveyor, their stated mission to chart the wilderness, take samples, and expand the Southern Reach’s understanding of Area X.

But they soon find out that the information given to them about Area X is incomplete or inaccurate, and that they are being manipulated by forces both strange and all too familiar. The old abandoned lighthouse on the coast is more than it seems. A moaning in the distance at dusk appears to have no natural cause. A tunnel plunging into the ground isn’t on any map.

In Area X, they will all find out what it truly means to face the unknown. Adapt or die.

Sounds intriguing! Look for more soon.

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Debi Moore

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