Ex Machina writer and director Alex Garland is teaming up once again with studio A24 for an action movie set in a “near-future America.” Titled Civil War, the project, the scant details of which were reported by The Hollywood Reporter, has lined up Spider-Man and The Power of the Dog star Kirsten Dunst to lead the project, with any further plot details currently being kept under wraps. Based on that title, it’s hard not to assume Garland will turn to recent real-world events for inspiration.
Dunst will star in Civil War alongside Wagner Moura (Narcos, The Gray Man), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), and Cailee Spaeny (On the Basis of Sex). Working from his own original script, Alex Garland will once again sit in the director’s chair, and while very little else has been revealed about Civil War, we can safely assume that it will be brimming with existential themes, philosophical musings, and, if the rest of his back catalog is anything to go by, Civil War should eagerly be added to your “must-see” list.
Beloved studio A24 will produce alongside Gregory Goodman, Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA, who worked with Garland on prior projects Ex Machina, Annihilation, and the upcoming feature Men.
Beginning his career with writing such seminal big-screen outings as 28 Days Later and Sunshine for director Danny Boyle, Alex Garland demonstrated his ability as an auteur with 2014’s masterful science fiction movie, Ex Machina. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, and Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina follows a young man, Caleb Smith, a lowly programmer, who is given the chance to become a part of a strange scientific experiment in which he is expected to assess artificial intelligence by interacting with a female robot.
Ex Machina was met with critical acclaim and went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Harking back to classic examples of the genre, Ex Machina is an intimate, haunting sci-fi that is heavy on ideas and light on special effects, and exhibits writer/director Alex Garland’s obvious talent.
Garland followed up Ex Machina with the equally eerily brilliant Annihilation starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac. Once again exploring universal themes such as grief and depression, Annihilation tells the story of cellular biology professor and Army veteran Lena, who recounts her expedition to a mysterious zone known as the “Shimmer”.
Aside from evocative science fiction, Alex Garland has also seemingly demonstrated his affinity for action, with actor Karl Urban revealing that Garland in fact helmed the 2012 fan-favorite comic book outing, Dredd. Something which should bode well for Civil War’s depiction of a near-future America.
With these accomplished projects at his back, Alex Garland’s Civil War is certainly one to watch. The addition of Kirsten Dunst as the lead is another reason to be excited, with the actress currently impressing audiences and critics with her performance in Netflix’s The Power of the Dog. Centered on a domineering rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch) who responds with mocking cruelty when his brother brings home a new wife and her son, until the unexpected comes to pass, The Power of the Dog currently sits at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and is expected to be an award favorite.