London, England, United Kingdom
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Certain creative forces seem to have been born innately attuned to worlds other than ours. Having lent his imagination to the realms of mysterious utopias, zombie pandemics, outer space missions, and humanoid robots, Alex Garland more than proved himself worthy of the "otherworldly" designation. The novelist, screenwriter, producer, and director founded a career on his knack for exploring vast ideas in inventive and engaging ways. From his debut screenplay for the horror movie "28 Days Later " (2002) to his first directorial effort on the even tempered and intriguing sci-fi film "Ex Machina" (2015), Garland seemed consistently bent on showcasing his ambitions to bring something new to every genre he touched. Alexander Medawar Garland was born in 1970 in London, England. One might surmise that Garland inherited his artistic side from his father Nicholas, a political cartoonist for publications including The New Statesman, The Spectator, The Independent, and The Daily Telegraph. The analytical element present in much of Garland's work, however, might be attributed to his mother Caroline, a psychoanalyst. Garland studied at University College School, in Hampstead, London, followed by University of Manchester, from whence he received his Bachelor's degree in art history in 1992. His earliest creative endeavors were novels, the first of which was an adventure story of sorts based on his experiences backpacking internationally: The Beach (1996). With his next novel, The Tesseract (1998), Garland began experimenting with some of the tropes that would contribute to the development of a career in genre deconstruction. Although Garland's book The Beach had itself been adapted into a motion picture-director Danny Boyle's "The Beach" (2000), starring Leonardo DiCaprio-Garland first took on the medium of cinema when he wrote the screenplay for Boyle's zombie outbreak film "28 Days Later " (2002). After writing the psychologically themed novel The Coma (2004), Garland shifted his creative and occupational focus from print to film. He wrote the script for the sci-fi thriller "Sunshine" (2007), also directed by Boyle, and joined the filmmaker as an executive producer on "28 Weeks Later " (2007), the sequel to their zombie venture, directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Garland wrote the screenplays for the sci-fi romance film "Never Let Me Go" (2010), starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield, and for the second big screen manifestation of the popular Judge Dredd comic book character, "Dredd" (2012). As Garland explored an increasing number of film projects across the science fiction and fantasy genres, he began to take interest in seizing the reins on a feature. Garland made his directorial debut on "Ex Machina" (2015), a probing exploration of the subject of artificial intelligence. Garland also wrote the screenplay for the film, which starred Oscar Isaac as a megalomaniacal scientist, Domhnall Gleeson as his uncertain accomplice in the grand experiment of A.I. design, and Alicia Vikander as the questionably sentient robot the pair is testing. The film made its North American debut at the annual Austin, Texas-based South by Southwest Film Festival, earning a wealth of positive attention for its thoughtful script and acting.