Claustrophobic glass houses in the middle of a too-fecund forest? Dark, high-tech conspiracies involving a menacing but charismatic bearded man? And is that…could it be…the faint whiff of body horror involving clones or doubles of some sort? Sounds like Alex Garland, alright. Hulu has released the first trailer for the Annihilation and Ex Machina director’s new FX series, Devs, and it looks like we’ll be getting a whopping eight episodes’ worth of his signature brand of melancholic sci-fi horror.
As in Annihilation, things kick off when a character’s significant other meets an untimely end under mysterious circumstances. In this case, it’s the boyfriend of Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno), a software engineer who decides to go after the people she believes are responsible. That would be Amaya, a Silicon Valley tech corporation led by CEO Forest (Nick Offerman), who seems like the logical conclusion (breaking point, really) of Oscar Isaac’s character in Ex Machina. At Amaya, Lily stumbles into a top-secret development division (the titular Devs), but it’s only the tip of what appears to be a very screwed-up iceberg.
As for what this conspiracy could entail, Garland himself gave audiences a couple of clues back in 2018.
“The next project, provided it happens – hopefully we’re gonna shoot it later this year – [and it’s] an eight-part television series for FX. It’s a sort of science fiction, but it’s a much more technology based sci fi whereas Annihilation is a more hallucinogenic form of sci fi and more fantastical form of sci fi.
This is slightly more in common with projects I’ve worked on like Ex Machina or Never Let Me Go, which are taking something about our world now – not our world in the future, but our world as it is right now – and then drawing sort of inferences and conclusions from it.”
Of course, he could just be talking about the show’s general vibe, but there are a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shots that definitely take a page out of Never Let Me Go (and which we can’t talk about, because it’s a spoiler).
Devs premieres on Hulu March 5.