Often times our first look at a new film comes from officially released images or a trailer. Our first glimpse of Annihilation is something very different, but even more striking. A number of the film's cast and crew have out up images from the set of the upcoming film on social media, and they paint as vivid a picture as any scene from a movie.

Tessa Thompson is just one of the members of the remarkable cast that makes up Annihilation. Here she's put up a shot of her with co-star Gina Rodriguez. We have no idea what they're looking at, but that just makes the whole thing a bit more surreal. In addition to Thompson and Rodriquez, Annihilation also co-stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Oscar Isaac.

Annihilation is based on the book of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. It is the first of a trilogy which tells the story of four women: a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist and a surveyor. They are only ever referred to by those names, and they go on an expedition into an unexplored place called Area X. We can't really go into what happens there without giving everything away, and it would be difficult to explain it all briefly and still have it make sense anyway. As Area X is as important a part of the overall story as the women who explore it, it's important that Area X be properly photographed. To that end, writer and director Alex Garland has called on his Ex Machina cinematographer Robert Hardy to work his magic on this film as well. Hardy has released a number of shots which spotlight the spooky, yet beautiful, vibe that the movie will be going for.

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A photo posted by R o b H a r d y b s c (@rdhardy) on

While the setting of Annihilation is certainly very different from that of Ex Machina, it looks like Robert Hardy certainly has an eye for photographing nature in such a way as to capture both its inherent peacefulness and its mystery. We're certainly looking forward to seeing what the final film looks like.

This sci-fi flick is only the second directorial effort for Alex Garland, following Ex Machina, but as a writer, Garland has put together a career containing some of the most fascinating, bizarre and wonderful films of recent years, including Dredd, Sunshine and 28 Days Later. While each movie tells a very different story, each of Garland's films is hard to compare to anything else. Even 28 Days Later was unique among the zombie genre. We can't wait to see what the director brings to this tale.

Annihilation is the first of a trilogy as a novel, though whether we'll see that take shape at the movies is still unclear. We're not even sure when we'll see this movie, as it is still currently listed for an unspecified release date sometime in 2017.

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