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The world needs more Natalie Portman movies. Unfortunately, over the past few years her being a mother has somewhat gotten in the way - but all of that is set to change in the coming months. Not only does she have a few intriguing projects on the horizon, but she is now also set to start filming the next project from one of the hottest sci-fi talents out there at the moment: Ex Machina’s writer and director Alex Garland.

According to Variety the Oscar-winning actress is on the precipice of signing on the dotted line to star in Annihilation, the next film from Garland, who is currently being showered with praise for his work on Ex-Machina. Portman and Garland’s collaboration is far from confirmed, though, as they’re only in preliminary talks. But just the mere thought of the pair working on the same effort together is enough to be fervent over. Especially since uber-producer Scott Rudin is also involved in Annihilation, which will be financed and distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Garland is currently in the midst of adapting Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, which is the first in a series of three books that tells the tale of four individuals who sign up for a dangerous expedition into Area X, a secluded region that has been cut off from civilization and where the laws of nature don’t apply. The 11 previous parties to have ventured there have been inundated with aggressive cancers, mental trauma, disappearances and suicides.

Garland has clearly ear-marked Natalie Portman as his ideal leading lady, and the aforementioned publication’s sources are confident that a deal can be worked out between the parties. Portman is insistent that production on the sci-fi flick can’t start any sooner than the beginning of 2016. However, there even seems to be plenty of wiggle room there too, because the insider has noted that the two sides will almost certainly agree on a start date.

Meanwhile, Garland is so adamant that he wants Portman to lead the film that he’s even cancelled the pursuit of other actresses for the part. That’s despite the fact that Julianne Moore and Tilda Swinton have made it well-known that they’d love the part. Clearly Garland is in popular demand at the moment, but that’s hardly surprising considering the huge critical and so-far impressive box-office success of Ex Machina. Garland’s ambitious, deeply intelligent, yet utterly compelling effort has already been touted as one of the best films of the year. Even more impressively, Garland made his directorial debut with the film - thought it’s true that he’d already proven his cinematic mettle by scribing the likes of 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go and Dredd.

As mentioned earlier, Natalie Portmanhas been on a bit of a hiatus over the last couple years, and actually hasn’t appeared in a big screen film since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. However she will not only appear in Terrence Malick’s Knights Of Cups and Weightless as well as the western Jane Got A Gun in 2015, but her directorial debut A Tale Of Love And Darkness, in which she also stars, is set to have its premiere at Cannes later this month. And if she signs on for Annihilation too, then she is officially back with a vengeance, which is something we should all be thoroughly excited about.

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