Holkham beach is transformed for new Natalie Portman movie

Annihilation filming at Holkham Beach. Photo: Pear Tree Cottage Bed and Breakfast

Annihilation filming at Holkham Beach. Photo: Pear Tree Cottage Bed and Breakfast - Credit: Archant

Filming for sci-fi drama Annihilation is well and truly underway at Holkham, where throughout the week strange items have been appearing as the crew transform the beach into the film's elusive Area X.


In Jeff VanderMeer's 2014 novel, Annihilation, Area X is an abandoned stretch of US coastline, cut off from civilisation due to an unnamed 'event' and held under quarantine by a secret government agency called The Southern Reach.

Over the last few days, part of Holkham beach has been transformed into this mysterious area during filming of the novel's movie adaptation, starring Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, and X-Men: Apocalypse star Oscar Isaac.

The film, directed and written by Alex Garland (Ex Machina), follows four women, a biologist (Natalie Portman), a psychologist, a surveyor, and an anthropologist, as they sign up for a dangerous expedition into unknown territory where the laws of nature no longer apply.

Steve and Annie Scarlett, owners of Pear Tree Cottage Bed and Breakfast in East Barsham, recently spotted some of the props the film crew had set up at Holkham while out walking their dog. The unusual sights included fake skeletons, a shelter, and dark tree-like structures on the sand.

Speaking of their unexpected discovery, Mr Scarlett joked: 'When the dog starts to dig up the beach, you never know what she'll find!'

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Annihilation's cinematographer, Robert Hardy, has also posted several images on Instagram (rhardy) which hint at the film's tone and provide a look at several shooting locations, with his two most recent photos suggesting what Holkham may look like when the movie is complete in 2017.

• Do you have any images of Annihilation filming in Norfolk? Email courtney.pochin@archant.co.uk

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