Alexander Medawar Garland (born 26 May 1970) is an English novelist, screenwriter, film producer, and director. He rose to prominence as a novelist in the late 1990s with his novel The Beach, which led some critics to call Garland a key voice of Generation X. He subsequently received praise for the screenplays of the films 28 Days Later (2002), Sunshine (2007), Never Let Me Go (2010), and Dredd (2012).
In 2014, Garland made his directorial debut with Ex Machina, a science fiction thriller which explores the relationship between mankind and artificial intelligence; the film earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He also won three BIFA awards for Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best British Independent Film. His second film, 2018's Annihilation, based on the 2014 novel by Jeff VanderMeer, was a critical success, but was considered a box office failure.
Alexander Medawar Garland
26 May 1970
|Alma mater||University of Manchester|
Garland was born in London, England, the son of psychologist Caroline (née Medawar) and political cartoonist Nicholas Garland. He graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in History of Art. His maternal grandfather is Nobel Prize-winning British biologist Peter Medawar.
In 1996, Garland's first novel, The Beach was published. The Beach is based upon Garland's own travels across Europe and Thailand, it tells the story of a young English backpacker who discovers an unspoiled sea shore occupied by a community of like-minded backpackers. The novel is noted for its references to drug culture, sequences of hallucinations and unique depictions of excess and utopia, which have been commended by critics. The Beach was initially met with positive reviews, and with a spreading word of mouth response the novel grew into a cult classic. Garland would later speak of the overwhelming discomfort with the fame The Beach had allowed him to achieve, "I never felt comfortable with it (the novel)." The Beach has been translated into 25 different languages and sold close to 700,000 copies by the start of 1999. It would later be developed into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
In 1998, Garland followed up The Beach with The Tesseract, a non-linear narrative with several interwoven characters set in Manila, Philippines. The novel is characterized by a post-modernist narrative style and structure. It explores several themes such as love and violence through each character's circumstance and context of surroundings as well as seemingly inconsequential actions and the repercussions of those actions on other characters. The Tesseract did not enjoy the critical or commercial success of The Beach, but it too was the subject of a film adaptation.
In 2002, Garland wrote the screenplay for Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, starring Cillian Murphy. He has said that the script was influenced by 1970s zombie films and British science fiction like The Day of the Triffids. Video games such as the Resident Evil series also served as an influence for 28 Days Later, with Garland crediting the first game for revitalizing the zombie genre. Inspiration for the "Rage" virus came from real world infections such as Ebola and filoviruses. He won a Best Screenplay honor at the 2004 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for his script of the film.
In 2005, Garland wrote a script for a film adaptation of Halo; he was paid $1 million. D. B. Weiss and Josh Olson rewrote this during 2006 for a 2008 release, though the film was later cancelled. In 2007, he wrote the screenplay for the film Sunshine – his second screenplay to be directed by Danny Boyle and to star Cillian Murphy. Garland served as an executive producer on 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to 28 Days Later. He wrote the screenplay for the 2010 film Never Let Me Go, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. He also wrote the script for Dredd, an adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic book series from 2000 AD. In 2018, Karl Urban, who played the eponymous role in the film, stated that it was Garland who deserved credit for also directing Dredd.
Garland made his directorial debut with Ex Machina, a 2014 feature film based on his own story and screenplay. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac. The film won a Jury Prize at the 2015 Gerardmer Film Festival and earned Garland a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film's lead actress, Alicia Vikander, was nominated for a Best Actress award at the Empire Awards.
Garland's second film, Annihilation (2018), was based on Jeff VanderMeer's 2014 science fiction novel of the same name. Garland has described it as "an adaptation which was a memory of the book," rather than book-referenced screenwriting, to capture the "dream like nature" and tone of his reading experience. Production began in 2016, and the film was released in February 2018.
Garland is the co-writer on the video game Enslaved: Odyssey to the West for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. For his writing work on the game, he won a 2011 award from the Writer's Guild of Great Britain (along with co-writer Tameem Antoniades). Garland also served as a Story Supervisor on the game DmC: Devil May Cry in 2013.
|1996||The Beach||Ranked 103 in BBC's 2003 The Big Read poll.|
|2002||28 Days Later||Yes|
|28 Weeks Later||Yes|
|2010||Never Let Me Go||Yes||Yes|
|Ex Machina||Yes||Yes||Directorial Debut|
|2010||Enslaved: Odyssey to the West||Co-Writer|
|2013||DmC: Devil May Cry||Story-Supervisor|
|2015||Best Original Screenplay||Ex Machina||Nominated|
|2015||Best British Film||Ex Machina||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer||Nominated|
|2015||Best Original Screenplay||Ex Machina||Nominated|
|2002||Best Writing||28 Days Later||Nominated|
|2010||Never Let Me Go||Nominated|
|2015||Best Director||Ex Machina||Nominated|
|2002||28 Days Later||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form||Nominated|
|2010||Never Let Me Go||British Independent Film Awards||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|Enslaved: Odyssey to the West||Writers' Guild of Great Britain||Best Continuing Drama||Won|
|2015||Ex Machina||Alliance of Women Film Journalists||Best Writing, Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|Austin Film Critics Association||Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|Boston Society of Film Critics Awards||Best New Filmmaker||Nominated|
|British Independent Film Awards||Best British Independent Film||Won|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Most Promising Filmmaker||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|Directors Guild of America Award||Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film||Won|
|European Film Awards||Best European Screenwriter||Nominated|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|Gérardmer Film Festival Jury Prize||Won|
|Silver Scream Award||Won|
|London Critics Circle Film Awards||Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society||Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle||Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association Awards||Best First Feature||Won|
|Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards||Best Director||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
Q. You were born in London, May 26, 1970? Correct? A. Yep, that's right. So I'm told.
A huge part of the success of 'Dredd' is in fact due to Alex Garland and what a lot of people don't realize is that Alex Garland actually directed that movie. ... I just hope when people think of Alex Garland's filmography that 'Dredd' is the first film that he made before Ex Machina.
28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Alex Garland, and starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, and Christopher Eccleston. The plot depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus and focuses upon the struggle of four survivors to cope with the destruction of the life they once knew.
Successful both commercially and critically, the film is credited with reinvigorating the zombie genre of horror film. The film spawned a 2007 sequel, 28 Weeks Later, a graphic novel titled 28 Days Later: The Aftermath, which expands on the timeline of the outbreak, and a 2009 comic book series titled 28 Days Later. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine ranked it the 97th best British film ever.Annihilation (film)
Annihilation is a 2018 science fiction horror film written and directed by Alex Garland, based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer. It stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac. The story follows a group of military scientists who enter "The Shimmer", a mysterious quarantined zone of mutating landscapes and animals.
Annihilation was released theatrically in Canada and the United States by Paramount Pictures on February 23, 2018, and in China on April 13, 2018. Across all three countries, it grossed $43 million against a production budget between $40–55 million. It was released digitally by Netflix in a number of other countries on March 12, 2018. The film received praise for its visuals, acting, direction and thought-provoking story. According to Jonathan Pile of Empire magazine, the film addresses "depression, grief and the human propensity for self-destruction".Devs (miniseries)
Devs is an upcoming American drama television miniseries set to premiere in 2019 on FX.Dredd
Dredd is a 2012 science fiction action film directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland. It is based on the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd and its eponymous character created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Karl Urban stars as Judge Dredd, a law enforcer given the power of judge, jury and executioner in a vast, dystopic metropolis called Mega-City One that lies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Dredd and his apprentice partner, Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), are forced to bring order to a 200-storey high-rise block of flats and deal with its resident drug lord, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey).
Garland began writing the script in 2006, although the development of a new Judge Dredd film adaptation, unrelated to the 1995 film Judge Dredd, was not announced until December 2008. Produced by British studio DNA Films, Dredd began principal photography, using 3D cameras throughout, in November 2010. Filming took place on practical sets and locations in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Dredd was released on 7 September 2012 in the United Kingdom and on 21 September worldwide. Critics were generally positive about the film's visual effects, casting and action, while criticism focused on excessive violence as well as a perceived lack of the satirical elements that are found in the source comic. Despite the positive critical response, the film earned just over $41 million at the box office on an estimated budget of $30–45 million. Dredd saw greater success following its home release, and has since been recognised as a cult film. The theatrical gross made a sequel unlikely, but home media sales and fan efforts endorsed by 2000 AD's publisher Rebellion Developments have maintained the possibility of a second film.Ex Machina (film)
Ex Machina is a 2014 science fiction psychological thriller film written and directed by Alex Garland (in his directorial debut) and stars Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac. The film follows a programmer who is invited by his CEO to administer the Turing test to an intelligent humanoid robot.
Made on a budget of $15 million, the film grossed $36 million worldwide. The National Board of Review recognized it as one of the ten best independent films of the year and the 88th Academy Awards honored the film with the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, for artists Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Williams Ardington and Sara Bennett. Garland was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, while Vikander's performance earned her Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Empire Award and Saturn Award nominations, plus several film critic award wins, for Best Supporting Actress. The film was further nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best British Film, and the Hugo Award in the category Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form.Helplessly Hoping
"Helplessly Hoping" is a 1969 song by the American folk rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash, written by Stephen Stills. They recorded the song at Wally Heider's Studio 3, Hollywood in December 1968 during their first recording session as a group, with producer Paul Rothchild. The song was first released by Atlantic Records on Crosby, Stills, and Nash's debut album Crosby, Stills & Nash on May 29, 1969. In June 1969, they released it as the B-side of their debut single "Marrakesh Express". The song was prominently featured in the 2018 Alex Garland film Annihilation.Jeff VanderMeer
Jeff VanderMeer is an American author, editor, and literary critic. Initially associated with the New Weird literary genre, VanderMeer crossed over into mainstream success with his bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy. The trilogy's first novel, Annihilation, won the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards, and was adapted into a Hollywood film by director Alex Garland. Among VanderMeer's other novels are Shriek: An Afterword and Borne. He has also edited with his wife Ann VanderMeer such influential and award-winning anthologies as The New Weird, The Weird, and The Big Book of Science Fiction.VanderMeer has been called "one of the most remarkable practitioners of the literary fantastic in America today," with The New Yorker naming him the "King of Weird Fiction." VanderMeer's fiction is noted for eluding genre classifications even as his works bring in themes and elements from genres such as postmodernism, ecofiction, the New Weird and post-apocalyptic fiction.VanderMeer's writing has been described as "evocative" and containing "intellectual observations both profound and disturbing," and has been compared with the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, and Henry David Thoreau.Never Let Me Go (2010 film)
Never Let Me Go is a 2010 British dystopian romantic drama film based on Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel Never Let Me Go. The film was directed by Mark Romanek from a screenplay by Alex Garland. Never Let Me Go is set in an alternative history and centres on Kathy, Ruth and Tommy portrayed by Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield respectively, who become entangled in a love triangle. Principal photography began in April 2009 and lasted several weeks. The movie was filmed at various locations, including Andrew Melville Hall. The film was produced by DNA Films and Film4 on a US$15 million budget.
Prior to the book's publication, Garland had approached the film's producers—Andrew Macdonald and Andrew Reich—about a possible film, and wrote a 96-page script. The producers initially had trouble finding an actress to play Kathy. Mulligan was cast in the role after Peter Rice, the head of the company financing the film, recommended her by text message while watching her performance in An Education. Mulligan, a fan of the book, enthusiastically accepted the role, as it had long been a wish of hers to have the opportunity to play the part. The film's message and themes were the factors that attracted Garfield to become a part of the film.
Never Let Me Go premiered at the 37th annual Telluride Film Festival in September 2010, where the audience responded positively to its message. The film was also screened at festivals including the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, and the 54th London Film Festival which it opened. The film was distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures to cinemas in the United States on 15 September 2010, where it was given a limited release. It opened on 14 January 2011 in the United Kingdom. In the United States, Never Let Me Go opened at four theatres, grossing over US$111,000 during its first weekend. The movie got off to a better start in its first weekend in the UK, earning £625,000 and taking ninth place at the box office.
Never Let Me Go earned US$9.5 million at the box office and an additional US$1.89 million in DVD sales revenue. Never Let Me Go was met with generally positive reviews from film critics, with most reviewers praising the cast's performances.Saturn Award for Best Writing
The Saturn Award for Best Writing is a Saturn Award presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
Unlike most awards rewarding writing in films, it recognizes only the writer(s) of the screenplay, and not those of the story.Sonoya Mizuno
Sonoya Mizuno (born 1 July 1986) is a Japanese-born British actress, model and ballerina who has collaborated with director Alex Garland in works such as Ex Machina, Annihilation and Devs.
She has also had minor roles in the films La La Land, Beauty and the Beast and most recently, the 2018 romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians. She played a lead character in the Netflix miniseries Maniac.Southern Reach Trilogy
The Southern Reach Trilogy is a series of novels by the American author Jeff VanderMeer first published in 2014—Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance. The trilogy takes its name from the secret agency that is central to the plot. In 2013, Paramount Pictures bought the movie rights for the series, and a film adaptation of Annihilation was made with Alex Garland as writer-director. The film was released in 2018.Sunshine (2007 film)
Sunshine is a 2007 science fiction thriller film directed by Danny Boyle and adapted from a screenplay written by Alex Garland. The story takes place in the year 2057, and follows a group of astronauts on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun. The ensemble cast features Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Troy Garity, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong, and Chipo Chung. The director cast a group of international actors for the film, and had the actors live together and learn about topics related to their roles, as a form of method acting.
The film was a co-production between the motion picture studios of Moving Picture Company, DNA Films, UK Film Council, and Ingenious Film Partners. Theatrically, it was commercially distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures, while the 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment division released the film in the video rental market. Sunshine explores physics, science and religion. Following its wide release in theatres, the film garnered several award nominations for its acting, directing, and production merits. It also won an award for Best Technical Achievement for production designer Mark Tildesley from the British Independent Film Awards. The film score was composed by John Murphy and was released by the Fox Music Group on 25 November 2008.
Previous science fiction films that Boyle cited as influences included Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 film Solaris, and Ridley Scott's 1979 science-fiction horror film Alien. Sunshine was released in the United Kingdom on 6 April 2007 and in the United States on 20 July 2007. The film took £3.2 million in the UK over twelve weeks, and in the USA it was placed no. 13 in the box office on the first weekend of its wide release. With a budget of US$40 million, it ultimately grossed US$32 million worldwide. Although the film was not considered a box office success, preceding its initial screening to the public the film was generally met with positive critical reviews. Widescreen DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film, also including the hi-definition theatrical trailer, scene selections, and director's commentary among other highlights, were released in the United States on 8 January 2008.The Beach (film)
The Beach is a 2000 English-language drama thriller film directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland, which was adapted for the film by John Hodge. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Virginie Ledoyen, Guillaume Canet, and Robert Carlyle. It was filmed on the Thai island Koh Phi Phi.The Beach (novel)
The Beach is a 1996 novel by English author Alex Garland. Set in Thailand, it is the story of a young backpacker's search for a legendary, idyllic and isolated beach untouched by tourism, and his time there in its small, international community of backpackers.
In 2000, it was adapted into a film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2003, the novel was listed on the BBC's survey The Big Read.The Coma
The Coma is a novel by Alex Garland, illustrated by his father, Nicholas Garland. It explores the boundary between the conscious and subconscious mind. The Coma was published in 2004, eight years after Garland's first novel, The Beach.The Tesseract (film)
The Tesseract, is a 2003 thriller film directed by Oxide Pang and starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. It is based on the novel of the same name by Alex Garland.
The film examines four seemingly unconnected lives brought together through a theft in a Bangkok hotel room (unlike the novel which is set in Manila). The interactions of an English drug dealer, an English psychologist, a Thai assassin, and an abused 13-year-old boy demonstrate that life is so complex that even the smallest events can have enormous, even fatal consequences (i.e. the butterfly effect).The Tesseract (novel)
The Tesseract is a novel by Alex Garland. It was initially published by Viking Press in 1998.