Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are hard at work promoting their next film, the R-rated sci-fi thriller Life starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal. On the surface, Life represents a departure from the superhero thrills and irreverent humor that made Deadpool a huge worldwide success for the writing duo; telling an original story of an International Space Station crew that discovers the first alien life form beyond Earth, it seems to be a totally standalone adventure. That is, unless, an interesting new fan theory is to be believed.
There is an idea floating around on the internet that Life is actually a secret prequel to Venom, an upcoming film based on the popular Spider-Man villain. The theory picked up steam on Reddit, where a user noticed footage similar to Spider-Man 3 hiding in one of Life’s trailers. The symbiote organism, which finds its way to Earth and takes over the body of Eddie Brock in the Spider-Man comics, could be the alien organism discovered in Life – making the theory an intriguing one for Spider-Man fans, to say the least. What’s even more intriguing is that the writers won’t totally rule out any connections.
Speaking to ComicBook.com at a recent press event to promote Life, the writers were reportedly “reluctant” to rule out any ties between Life and the Venom film, joking about the theory:
Wernick: Yes, the answer is yes! We are tied to Venom! We are the prequel to Venom!
Reese: We wrote a Venom screenplay, so I think people saw that connection. They also saw the Spider-Man 3 footage that sneaked its way into our last trailer. They just announced a Venom movie release date just yesterday.
Wernick: All of the sudden, someone’s out there going, ‘Bing! Lightbulb!’
But despite the writers’ ambiguity on the Venom prequel theory, studio execs at Sony are apparently more decisive. Collider reported on Saturday that the studio adamantly denied any connections between Life and the new Venom film. That said, in a later interview with the site, director Daniel Espinosa was asked about the theory and declined to comment specifically on it.
Even if Reese and Wernick flatly denied any connections between Life and Venom, the sheer fact that they wrote a Venom script could keep the fan theory alive until Life officially hits theaters; it’s no secret that both the writers and director of Life have a deep affinity for comic books and superhero characters, and conversely there is not much known about the organism that the space station crew discovers in Life. Indeed, in the CB interview, the writers came up with their own idea for how it could work, agreeing it would make a good prequel.
Of course, it’s highly likely that Reese and Wernick were just playing around in their interviews; they simply know that their new film is probably better off with this notion hanging out there rather than thoroughly debunked. As fun a theory as it is, it is ultimately just that: a theory.