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Trivia / Annihilation (2018)

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  • Acclaimed Flop: Reviewers liked the movie, but given it was Screwed by the Network in all ways possible (little advertisement, Not Screened for Critics, Dump Month, neglecting international release in lieu of Netflix), the financial results were unimpressive.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Judging by his live tweets while watching the movie, author Jeff VanderMeer doesn't seem to like some of the changes.
  • Executive Meddling: Defied. After poor — some say disastrous — test screenings, executive producer David Ellison called the movie "too intellectual" and "too complicated" and demanded changes to make it appeal to a wider audience, such as making Lena more sympathetic and changing the ending. However, producer Scott Rudin (who had final cut) sided with Alex Garland, released the movie unaltered and wouldn't take notes.
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  • No Export for You: If you want to watch it on Netflix, it's available everywhere BUT North America.
  • Not Screened for Critics: The critical embargo for the film lifted the day before its release. Despite that, the reviews were mostly positive.
  • Production Nickname: Given the effects crew also worked on Paddington, about a cute bear named after an underground station, the monster bear from this movie was nicknamed Homerton after an overground station.
  • Production Posse: Much of Garland's collaborators from Ex Machina show up here: Actors Oscar Isaac and Sonoya Mizuno (the latter plays a student in Lena's classroom and the doppelganger that Lena encounters at the end), cinematographer Rob Hardy and the composing team of Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow provide the score once again.
  • Screwed by the Network: Paramount had no faith in the film, giving it a single trailer and little marketing while setting the release date just one weekend after the smash hit Black Panther (2018). As noted in Not Screened for Critics, they also failed to hold press screenings that could have helped word of mouth spread earlier. Finally, similar to The Cloverfield Paradox, the studio decided to sell the film's distribution rights to Netflix in order to mitigate potential losses, despite protests from both the film's creators and eventual audiences that it was meant to be seen on a big screen - though unlike Cloverfield Paradox, they only did this for distribution outside the United States/Canada and China.
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  • What Could Have Been: An early draft of the script has a different ending wherein after Lena and Kane embrace each other at the end, we cut to a shot of multiple Shimmer meteors coming to Earth.
  • Word of God: Andrew Whitehurst says that the bear is named "Homerton".

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