Alex Garland

Table of Contents

Alex Garland (Novelist)

Alexander Medawar Garland, born on May 26, 1970, is a multifaceted English talent excelling as a novelist, screenwriter, and director. His literary journey began with the groundbreaking success of his novel “The Beach” in 1996, catapulting him into the spotlight of the literary world. Garland’s knack for storytelling extended seamlessly into the realm of cinema, garnering acclaim for his screenwriting contributions to iconic Danny Boyle films such as “28 Days Later” (2002) and “Sunshine” (2007). He further solidified his reputation with poignant scripts for “Never Let Me Go” (2010) and the gritty reboot “Dredd” (2012).

Beyond the silver screen, Alex Garland made significant strides in the gaming industry, co-writing “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West” (2010) and lending his expertise as a story supervisor for “DmC: Devil May Cry” (2013).

However, it was with “Ex Machina” (2014) that Alex Garland marked his directorial debut, crafting a mesmerizing sci-fi thriller that captivated audiences and critics alike. The film not only earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay but also secured three prestigious British Independent Film Awards, affirming his prowess as both a writer and director.

Continuing his streak of cinematic excellence, Alex Garland helmed the adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel “Annihilation” (2018), a haunting exploration of the unknown that further showcased his visionary talent. His subsequent projects, the chilling horror thriller “Men” (2022) and the epic action saga “Civil War” (2024), produced in collaboration with A24, further cemented his status as a master storyteller adept at navigating diverse genres.

In the realm of television, Alex Garland creative genius shone brightly in the FX miniseries “Devs” (2020), where he served as a writer, director, and executive producer, captivating audiences with his thought-provoking narratives and visionary approach to storytelling.

London, England

London, England
Alex Garland
NameAlexander Medawar Garland
Date of Birth26 May 1970
Birth PlaceLondon, England
Career1996–present
NationalityAmerican
ProfessionAuthor, Screen Writer, Director
WifePaloma Baeza
Children2
Parents
  • Nicholas Garland
  • Caroline Medawar Garland
Relatives
  • Nicholas Garland (father)
  • Peter Medawar (maternal grandfather)
  • Jean Medawar (maternal grandmother)

Early life

Alexander Medawar Garland, born on May 26, 1970, in London, comes from a distinguished lineage. His mother, Caroline Medawar, is a psychologist, while his father, Nicholas Garland, is renowned for his political cartoons. Garland’s family background includes notable figures like his maternal grandparents, writer Jean Medawar and biologist Peter Medawar. Peter Medawar’s roots trace back to Brazil, where he was born to an English mother and a Lebanese father.

Growing up, Alex Garland attended University College School in Hampstead before pursuing his passion for the arts at the University of Manchester, where he earned a degree in Art History. His upbringing in a household steeped in both intellectual and artistic pursuits undoubtedly influenced his own creative path.

Career

Alex Garland’s debut novel, “The Beach,” emerged in 1996, born from his voyages through Europe and Thailand. It chronicles the journey of a youthful English backpacker stumbling upon a pristine shoreline inhabited by kindred spirits. Notable for its exploration of drug culture, vivid hallucinatory sequences, and imaginative portrayal of both abundance and utopia, the novel garnered acclaim upon release. As word of mouth spread, it burgeoned in popularity, positioning Garland as a significant voice of Generation X, despite his personal unease with newfound fame. Translated into 25 languages and nearing 700,000 copies sold by 1999, “The Beach” captivated audiences globally, later receiving the Hollywood treatment with a film adaptation featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. Its enduring impact was underscored by its inclusion in BBC’s prestigious The Big Read poll in 2003, where it ranked 103rd.

Following his literary debut’s success, Alex Garland delved into “The Tesseract” in 1998, crafting a non-linear narrative intricately weaving multiple characters’ lives against the backdrop of Manila, Philippines. This post-modernist work delves into themes of love and violence, intricately examining the consequences of seemingly inconsequential actions on interconnected lives. Despite not reaching the same heights as “The Beach,” “The Tesseract” also found its way to the silver screen.

Alex Garland passion for travel, particularly backpacking, and his affection for Manila, significantly influence his artistic endeavors, enriching his storytelling with authentic experiences and landscapes.

Filmography Career

In 2002, Alex Garland penned the screenplay for Danny Boyle’s renowned film, “28 Days Later,” starring the talented Cillian Murphy. Drawing inspiration from 1970s zombie flicks and British science fiction classics like “The Day of the Triffids,” Alex Garland crafted a narrative influenced by the eerie atmosphere of those genres. Additionally, video games such as the Resident Evil series played a pivotal role in shaping the film’s direction, with Garland acknowledging their impact in revitalizing the zombie genre. The terrifying “Rage” virus depicted in the movie found its roots in real-world infections like Ebola and filoviruses, adding a chilling layer of realism to the story. Garland’s exceptional screenplay earned him the esteemed Best Screenplay honor at the 2004 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, solidifying his reputation as a master storyteller.

Following the success of “28 Days Later,” Alex Garland embarked on various projects that showcased his versatility as a writer and filmmaker. He delved into the realm of video game adaptations with a screenplay for the film adaptation of “Halo” in 2005, although the project underwent revisions and was ultimately canceled. In 2007, he collaborated once again with Danny Boyle on the screenplay for “Sunshine,” marking their second partnership with Cillian Murphy in the lead role. Garland’s talent extended beyond screenwriting as he ventured into directing, making his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed “Ex Machina” in 2014. This thought-provoking sci-fi thriller, based on Garland’s own story and screenplay, garnered widespread praise and earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Continuing to explore the realms of science fiction, Alex Garland adapted Jeff VanderMeer’s novel “Annihilation” into a mesmerizing cinematic experience in 2018. The film, described by Alex Garland as a memory of the book rather than a strict adaptation, captivated audiences with its dreamlike narrative and haunting visuals. Garland’s dedication to pushing creative boundaries led him to helm his third film, “Men,” released in 2022. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the film showcased Garland’s commitment to exploring complex themes and narratives.

Looking ahead, Alex Garland is set to release his highly anticipated action epic, “Civil War,” in April 2024. Teaming up with A24 once again, the film promises to deliver thrilling entertainment with a stellar cast including Kirsten Dunst and Wagner Moura. Additionally, Garland is poised to reunite with Boyle for “28 Years Later,” a sequel that aims to breathe new life into the zombie genre.

In addition to his work in film, Garland has left his mark on the world of television and video games. He served as the creative force behind the thought-provoking miniseries “Devs,” exploring the enigmatic workings of a tech company. Furthermore, Garland’s collaboration with Tameem Antoniades resulted in the critically acclaimed video game “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West,” showcasing his talent across various mediums.

Garland’s multifaceted career continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide, cementing his legacy as a visionary storyteller across film, television, and video games.

Personal life

Alexander Medawar Garland, born on May 26, 1970, is a distinguished English novelist, screenwriter, and director. He garnered widespread acclaim for his debut novel, “The Beach” in 1996, propelling him into the spotlight of literary and cinematic circles. Alex Garland talents extend beyond the realm of literature; he has penned scripts for acclaimed films such as “28 Days Later” (2002), “Sunshine” (2007), “Never Let Me Go” (2010), and “Dredd” (2012), earning accolades for his compelling narratives and intricate character development.

Beyond the silver screen, Alex Garland has also left his mark on the world of video games. He co-wrote the captivating narrative of “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West” (2010) and contributed as a story supervisor for “DmC: Devil May Cry” (2013), showcasing his versatility across different mediums.

In his personal life, Alex Garland is happily married to Paloma Baeza, a talented English-Mexican actress. Together, they share the joys of parenthood, raising a son and a daughter. This familial bliss adds depth to Garland’s creative endeavors, infusing his work with a profound understanding of human relationships and emotions.

Bibliography

Title Year
The Beach 1996
The Tesseract 1998
The Coma 2004

Films

YearTitleDirectorWriterProducerRef.
200228 Days LaterNoYesNo 
2007SunshineNoYesNo 
200728 Weeks LaterNoUncreditedExecutive 
2010Never Let Me GoNoYesExecutive 
2012DreddUncreditedYesYes 
2014Ex MachinaYesYesNo 
2018AnnihilationYesYesNo 
2022MenYesYesNo 
2024Civil WarYesYesNo 
TBA28 Years LaterNoYesYes 
TBAWarfareYesYesNo

Television

YearTitleDirectorWriterExecutive ProducerRef.
2020DevsYesYesYes 

Video Games

YearTitleRole
2010Enslaved: Odyssey to the WestCo-writer
2013DmC: Devil May CryStory supervisor

Critical

TitleRotten TomatoesMetacritic
Ex Machina92% (284 ratings)78 (42 reviews)
Annihilation88% (327 ratings)79 (51 reviews)
Devs82% (90 ratings)71 (32 reviews)
Men69% (255 ratings)65 (55 reviews)
Civil War92% (37 ratings)79 (20 reviews)

Executive producer

TitleBig Game
Year2014

Awards and Nominations

YearFilmAwardCategoryResult
200228 Days LaterFangoria Chainsaw AwardsBest ScreenplayNominated
200228 Days LaterHugo AwardsBest Dramatic PresentationNominated
200228 Days LaterSaturn AwardBest WritingNominated
2010Never Let Me GoBritish Independent Film AwardsBest ScreenplayNominated
2010Never Let Me GoEvening Standard British Film AwardsBest ScreenplayNominated
2010Never Let Me GoSaturn AwardBest WritingNominated
2010Enslaved: Odyssey to the WestWriters’ Guild of Great BritainBest Continuing DramaWon
2015Ex MachinaAcademy AwardsBest Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaAlliance of Women Film JournalistsBest Writing, Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaAustin Film Critics AssociationBest Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaAACTA International AwardsBest ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaBoston Society of Film Critics AwardsBest New FilmmakerNominated
2015Ex MachinaBritish Independent Film AwardsBest British Independent FilmWon
2015Ex MachinaBritish Independent Film AwardsBest DirectorWon
2015Ex MachinaBritish Independent Film AwardsBest ScreenplayWon
2015Ex MachinaBroadcast Film Critics AssociationBest ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaChicago Film Critics AssociationMost Promising FilmmakerNominated
2015Ex MachinaChicago Film Critics AssociationBest Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaDirectors Guild of America AwardOutstanding Directing – First-Time Feature FilmWon
2015Ex MachinaEuropean Film AwardsBest European ScreenwriterNominated
2015Ex MachinaFlorida Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaFlorida Film Critics Circle AwardsGérardmer Film Festival Jury PrizeWon
2015Ex MachinaFlorida Film Critics Circle AwardsSilver Scream AwardWon
2015Ex MachinaLondon Critics Circle Film AwardsBreakthrough British/Irish FilmmakerNominated
2015Ex MachinaOnline Film Critics Society AwardsBest Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaSan Diego Film Critics SocietyBest Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaSan Francisco Film Critics CircleBest Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaToronto Film Critics Association AwardsBest First FeatureWon
2015Ex MachinaWashington DC Area Film Critics Association AwardsBest DirectorNominated
2015Ex MachinaWashington DC Area Film Critics Association AwardsBest Original ScreenplayNominated
2015Ex MachinaSaturn AwardsBest DirectorNominated
2015Ex MachinaSaturn AwardsBest WritingNominated

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