Netflix‘s first acquisition from Paramount, “The Cloverfield Paradox,” crashed and burned. All the hype in the world, and a surprise Super Bowl Sunday release, couldn’t lift the stink off the movie, which circled the drain with critics and audiences. However, it looks like the streaming giant has a winner with “Annihilation.”
As you’ll recall, Netflix scooped up the international rights for Alex Garland‘s upcoming sci-fi film, with Paramount hanging on to the film in the U.S., Canada and China. “Annihilation” will debut on the big screen in North America first, before hitting the streaming service seventeen days later. The decision to broker a deal with Netflix came after producers battled over the final cut of the film. David Ellison, the head of Skydance Productions, was worried that the film was “too intellectual” and “too complicated” following poor test screening results last summer. However, the film’s co-producer Scott Rudin (“No Country For Old Men,” “The Social Network,” “Lady Bird“) has final cut on the movie, and used it to allow Garland to deliver the movie he intended.
The big question remains: is “Annihilation” another Paramount turd they don’t believe in, or simply a smart movie they can’t figure out how to market to a global audience? Going by early reactions, it looks like Paramount has a winner on their hands… and so does Netflix. Here’s what early viewers had to say — “Annihilation” opens on February 23rd.
— Jenna Busch (@JennaBusch) February 8, 2018
Alex Garland's #Annihilation is absolutely phenomenal. It's gorgeous and mesmerizing, with brilliant performances from the entire ensemble. It's a remarkable vision, and has a sequence so thrilling that I was left literally dizzy. It will be on my Top 10 of 2018 without question. pic.twitter.com/zGmDGlyh0M
— Eric Eisenberg (@eeisenberg) February 8, 2018
#ANNIHILATION: This is the type of sci-if we always say we want to see. Bold, challenging, singular, visually dazzling. Would not be the least bit surprised to see it hailed as a masterpiece (and it might actually be one).
— Ben Pearson (@benpears) February 8, 2018
— Drew Taylor (@DrewTailored) February 8, 2018
Alex Garland’s #Annihilation is another example of the kind of brainy sci-fi we don’t see enough of. Badass female cast and a story that’s both beautiful and wickedly disturbing, and an ending you will talk about for days. Dug it so much pic.twitter.com/fW77z6xX4v
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) February 8, 2018
ANNHILATION is, in wholly inelegant terms, one hell of a mindfuck. Most of the time, I didn't want it to end; occasionally, I was so unsettled I thought I might keel over.
— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) February 8, 2018
#Annihilation is big budget Alex Garland with all the head-spinning intelligence of "Ex Machina." It's violent and patient and then suddenly so transfixing you're pinned to your seat.
It'll take time to process. Another auteur studio gamble from Paramoint after "mother!"
— Zack Sharf (@ZSharf) February 8, 2018