Annihilation Director Alex Garland Has Been Email Penpals With Half-Life's Marc Laidlaw for 15 Years

Annihilation Director Alex Garland Has Been Email Penpals With Half-Life's Marc Laidlaw for 15 Years

The Ex Machina director also shares his favorite video games.

Alex Garland made his directing debut with 2014's critically-acclaimed Ex Machina, but the author has a long history with writing books, screenplays, and even video games. Now, weeks before the premiere of his next film, Annihilation, Garland reveals how deep his connections to video games run.

In an interview with Sony's Sid Shuman, Garland reveals his attraction to narrative heavy video games. It's probably why he lists BioShock and The Last of Us as two of his favorite video games, but he adds that he has admiration for games like Braid, Ico, Portal 1 & 2 and Half-Life. Garland's love for the latter actually resulted in a 15 year email correspondence with Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw.

"Marc Laidlaw. I've had had a long correspondence with him over email," revealed Garland. "He was the Half-Life writer, and I love those games. Me and Marc have been chatting over email for, well, it must be 15 years now."

Garland, whose next film is an adaptation of the weird fiction novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, cut his teeth writing novels (The Beach) and films (28 Days Later), but also wrote for games like Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and DmC. Annihilation is another work of sci-fi, but more dream-like and atmospheric than the hard sci-fi of Ex Machina.

Annihilation is set to premiere in the US on February 23.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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