Doom: Annihilation is a film created by the direct-to-video studio Universal 1440 Entertainment, and directed and written by Tony Giglio. Principal photography began in May 2018 on location in Bulgaria, and production wrapped as of June 5. News of the film first leaked on April 17, 2018, when actress Nina Bergman posted on Twitter that she had been cast in a role. Universal 1440 almost immediately provided confirmation of the film's production status to Variety. According to ScienceFiction.com, the film was originally slated to release on May 17, 2019, but was pushed back to an initially unspecified Fall 2019 date to accommodate additional visual effects work on the film's Hell sequence. On July 15, 2019, a release date of October 1 was officially announced, and a page appeared for the movie on the Universal Pictures Home Entertainment website showing future availability through retail outlets on Blu-Ray and DVD, as well as through digital download.
On a United Aerospace Corporation (UAC) base on Phobos, Dr. Betruger prepares to teleport a volunteer from Phobos to the UAC Delta Lab in Nevada by using ancient teleporters known as "gates." The experiment proves successful; however, the subject emerges partially deformed and deranged, screaming, with black fluid leaking from his eyes and mouth. Meanwhile, on a UAC transport vessel, a group of Marines awaken from cryosleep. They are on a mission to guard the Phobos base. Amongst them is Joan Dark, a disgraced lieutenant with which they are reluctant to work. Joining them is Bennett Stone, a scientist and ex-boyfriend of Joan, who has also been assigned to the base. It is learned that Phobos is a base with four levels, and exists in one of the most unstable locations in the Solar System.
Back on Phobos, against Dr. Kahn's wishes, Betruger prepares to teleport himself to the Nevada base after expressing his belief that the prior test subject only had a negative reaction due to presence of prescription drugs in his body. After preparations by his assistant, Veronica Cyr, Betruger passes through the gate. However, the Phobos base suddenly goes offline as monsters emerge from the gate.
Unable to communicate with or enter the base, the Marines receive orders to investigate and restore power. They enter via the emergency entrance and Bennett discovers that the reserve power has been drained to two percent, granting them a mere 90 minutes before the fusion reactor explodes. The Marines are then attacked by UAC staff who have been turned into zombie-like creatures. During the attack, the Marines find three survivors: Betruger, Veronica, and the base's Chaplain, Glover. Betruger reveals that the UAC has been studying the gates for 30 years in order to colonize other planets. It is believed that the gates were left by an ancient alien race (similar to the ancient Martian civilization from Doom 3) speaking a language related to Sumerian, while Glover believes them to be demons and states that they have opened a portal to Hell. Against Betruger's demands, Joan orders the remaining Marines and survivors to evacuate the base.
Unbeknownst to the Marines, their ship's computer, Daisy (named after the rabbit from the game series), was corrupted by the demonic presence upon docking with the base, in a manner similar to the infection caused by VIOS in Doom II RPG. The ship secretly shuts down services to the Marines one by one, rendering them increasingly helpless against the onslaught of the undead. When the ship's pilot attempts to take it up to orbit in a bid to restore communications, Daisy lets demons into the ship to stop him.
Upon returning to the transport, the crew are attacked by the imp-like demons, killing several Marines, including Glover. With the transport disabled, Joan agrees to Betruger's plan to restore power to use the gate to teleport the survivors to the Nevada base. However, she reveals to Bennett that her agreement was a ruse to restore communications. As Bennett works on restoring the base's power, Betruger's behavior becomes erratic and he begins to verbally abuse Joan, revealing that she was disgraced for allowing a terrorist to go free due to poor judgement. Betruger then kills Veronica and seals the Marines in the power core, who are then attacked by numerous imps. With only Joan and Bennett left standing, they plan to stop Betruger from activating the gate.
After Joan acquires the BFG9000, Bennett is attacked by an imp and dragged away. As Joan shoots her way to the gate chamber, she is attacked by a zombified Bennett, forcing her to kill him. Joan then shoots Betruger, who resurrects immediately and pushes Joan into the gate. Joan is teleported to Hell, where she encounters a horde of different imp-like demons, and the demon overlord, who resembles a fiery baron of Hell. The overlord reveals that they plan to reclaim the Earth and annihilate humanity. She shoots the overlord and blasts the horde with plasma grenades as she makes her way back to the gate. She is then teleported to the Nevada base and demands that the gate be shut down. She is apprehended and sedated by security. Before losing consciousness, the gate begins to reactivate. Dr. Kahn believes it to be Betruger coming through, but as the film cuts to black, a growl is heard.
- Amy Manson as Lieutenant Joan Dark
- Agleya Gumnerova as Young Joan (age 11)
- Dominic Mafham as Dr. Malcolm Betruger
- Luke Allen-Gale as Dr. Bennett Stone
- James Weber Brown as Captain Hector Savage
- Clayton Adams as Private Steven Winslow
- Nina Bergman as Private Carley Corbin
- Amer Chadha-Patel as Private Rance Redguo
- Gavin Brocker as Sgt. Harold “Harry” Friesen
- Chidi Ajufo as Sgt. Logan Akua
- Hari Dhillon as Dr. Ahmed Kahn
- Katrina Nare as Dr. Veronica Cyr
- Arkie Reece as Captain Fadel Tarek
- Jemma Moore as Private Li Chen
- Louis Mandylor as Chaplain Glover
- Gina Philips as Daisy (voice)
- Cassidy Little as Morgan
- Plamena Bozhilova as Olivia Dark
- Lorina Kamburova as Dr. Sandy Peterson
- Nathan Cooper as Dr. Ezekiel
In 2015, director Tony Giglio pitched to Universal his outline for a new Doom film, however, they declined due to the film not being on their slate and due to the financial disappointment of the 2005 film. After the release of the 2016 video game, Giglio re-pitched the idea to Universal by revealing the game's sales numbers and new interest in the property from old and new fans. Convinced, they demanded to see a script first. A 25 page treatment was then written by Giglio. Giglio felt the previous film lacked demons, Hell, and proper usage of the gates and wished to prioritize those elements for the new film.
Giglio created the character of Joan after taking inspiration from The Terminator and Aliens (franchises which influenced the creation of Doom originally), feeling that a female protagonist can be effective in a science-fiction action film. Joan was named after Joan of Arc. Four suits were produced for the imps, with one designed for leaping. Inspiration was drawn from the first three Doom games, as Universal did not retain the rights to the Bethesda version. Universal invited Bethesda to participate in the film; however, Bethesda respectfully declined.
Autonomous FX were commissioned to work on the special effects, makeup, and demon designs. The imps were redesigned to have charred skin and sharp edges for more organic-like horns, while retaining the glowing eyes and wide mouth of the original design.
Details revealed by cast and crew during filming indicated that the movie would center around the actions of a squadron of space marines investigating a UAC facility called the Phobos Compound. Location shots in Prohodna cave immediately suggested that some action would be set on the surface of Mars, on Phobos, or in Hell. Futuristic weapons were seen among the props. The interior sets carried an abstract, angular look with bold, primary colors possibly inspired by the Classic Doom aesthetic. Space marines again wore black combat armor, probably inspired by the look of the Z-Sec in Doom 3 and the design choices made for members of the RRTS in the prior movie.
Actor Dominic Mafham has confirmed that his character is named Dr. Betruger, after the Doom 3 villain. Other posts also indicated that the character played by Louis Mandylor is a priest or preacher, confirming that Hellish overtones would be present in the plot for this film, unlike its predecessor.
According to the director, the movie is not intended to be a sequel to the prior film, making it effectively a reboot within the cinematic universe which, also according to Giglio, aims to be a "faithful adaptation" of the original source material with plot points taken from the original Doom instruction manual. Demons are featured as the movie's antagonists.
The official title and synopsis of Doom: Annihilation were announced on March 8, 2019, in an exclusive article at Dread Central which also featured the first three official screenshots of the film, displaying a scientist zombie and two action shots highlighting Carley and Joan.
A 30-second teaser trailer was released on March 11, 2019, with an exclusive debut on Bloody Disgusting.
In an interview with Polygon, Tony Giglio mentioned that the movie would include some first-person-perspective shots, though more brief than the extended segment from the 2005 film. He explained that the marines each have a HUD which will be featured in the shots.
Another 30 seconds of footage was released exclusively to Dread Central on August 15, 2019, highlighting action sequences, monsters, and special effects.
Principal photography wrapped in Bulgaria in June 2018. Additional photography commenced in early 2019 to improve certain scenes and visual effects. The film utilized 1,000 visual effects shots. The Hell sequence was shot with Amy Manson standing before a green screen; however, a small rock area was built for the water scenes.
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