Now that 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool movie has set a new box office opening weekend record for the live-action X-Men movie franchise (and the month of February, at that), what comes next for the comic book film’s star, Ryan Reynolds? Deadpool 2 would be the obvious answer, as the project (which, yes, will introduce time-traveling mutant Cable to the big screen too) is reportedly already being developed by Deadpool writing duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. However, before Reynolds reprises fast-talking ‘Merc With a Mouth’ Wade Wilson on the big screen, he may wind up headlining an altogether different project penned by Reese and Wernick.
The film in question is Life, an original sci-fi movie that was written by Reese and Wernick and also has Reynolds’ Safe House collaborator, Daniel Espinosa, attached to direct. Life follows the members of the International Space Station as they recover a sample from Mars – one that shows not only signs of life, but unprecedented (and unexpected) signs of intelligence, too.
Deadline is reporting that Reynolds is currently in talks to star in Life, with Skydance Productions (Star Trek, Jack Reacher) financing the project and Paramount Pictures expected to serve as distributor. The White Queen and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation‘s breakout star Rebecca Ferguson is already lined up to co-headline Life with Reynolds, should he sign on. Reynolds’ work schedule is flexible for now, as Deadpool 2 is only in the early stages of development and he doesn’t have any other major films on his to-do list currently. However, Ferguson is slated to reprise her Rogue Nation role as ex-MI6 agent Ilsa Faust once Mission: Impossible 6 begins production later this summer – and seeing as Skydance is also behind the Mission: Impossible franchise, the studio will aim to schedule the start of production on Life around Ferguson’s other tentpole commitment in particular.
It’s not clear yet whether Life is mix of sci-fi and drama, adventure/thriller, or horror, or a blending of all those elements – though, previous scripts from Reese and Wernick (like Zombieland and Deadpool) have mixed these various tones and genre ingredients together to varying degrees, so it’s reasonable to assume their Life screenplay is going to follow suit. Ferguson, who was reportedly in the running for the lead role in Ridley Scott’s own “space movie” Alien: Covenant in the last quarter of 2015, has thus far attached to a series of promising dramatic projects (see The Girl on the Train and The Snowman) and tentpoles alike for the future, so her involvement with Life – described by Deadline as a “big scale film” – bodes all the better for this project, too.
As for Reynolds: while he starred in such infamous big-budget duds as Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. over the years preceding Deadpool, Reynolds is certainly on the rebound now – and reuniting with not only Reese/Wernick but also Espinosa (whose own 2012 action/thriller Safe House is one of Reynolds’ better mainstream offerings in recent memory) on Life doesn’t read as a bad move for Reynolds, either. “Big scale” films of any genre that aren’t part of a franchise are not exactly abundant nowadays either (see this year’s Passengers for another exception), which makes it all the easier to root for Life to become part of the “Reynolds-sance.”
We’ll bring you more information on Life as it becomes available.