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As a screenwriter Alex Garland has developed plenty of of genre cred. From his collaborations with Danny Boyle like 28 Days Later and Sunshine to the recent comic book adaptation Dredd, whenever geeks hear that Garland has begun work on a new project it's cause for excitement. This news is a step up, however, because not only will Garland be holding the pen for his next movie, he'll be in charge of the production as well.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Garland is now set to make his directorial debut with Ex Machina, a new "indie robot thriller" that's being produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, and DNA Films. Not to be confused with the Brian K. Vaughn comic series of the same name (which apparently has its own adaptation in the works at the production company BenderSpink), the new project is based on an original idea developed by the writer-cum-director and follows a billionaire programmer who brings one of his young employees to come to his estate and "participate in a test involving his latest invention -- an artificially intelligent female robot." The production will be small, with only a $15 million budget, and there are plans to start shooting either this summer or in the fall.

Garland got his start in Hollywood back in 2000 when his book The Beach was adapted by Danny Boyle into the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. His other credits include Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, and he also wrote the screenplay for director Nicholas Winding Refn's upcoming Logan's Run remake (but we're still waiting to see if that project ever manages to come together).
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