Life writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick joke about their film being a secret prequel to Venom. Life was a throwback to big budget sci-fi horror movies like Alien and Event Horizon and involved a team of astronauts encountering an alien life form - which quickly escapes and starts eating them one by one. The movie had quite a starry cast too, including Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Life received some good reviews and was a modest box office hit, but prior to release a rumor spread it was actually a stealth prequel to Venom. There were some pieces of evidence linking the two, including the description of Life's monster baring a resemblance to the Venom symbiote, the fact Reese and Wernick previously wrote a draft for a Venom movie and that a crowd shot from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 - the last movie to use the character - was reused in Life's trailer. The rumor was dispelled pretty quick once the movie came out and contained no references to Venom whatsoever.
Screenwriters Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick recently sat down with Screen Rant for an interview talking about their new movie Deadpool 2. During the discussion, the duo were asked to clear up the lingering urban legend linking Life to Venom, and they couldn't help seeing the funny side of it all:
Screen Rant: The last time we talked to you guys was for Life. So, I wanted to clear up a little geek urban legend here. Life is not the official prequel to Venom.
Rhett Reese: It is not.
Screen Rant: Was there any influence from Venom that you guys took from Life? Any homages or overlaps at all?
Rhett Reese: Not really. No. Because, for one, it would be a rights issue because Venom was a Marvel property obviously and controlled by Sony. Life was actually Sony, so maybe it wasn’t a rights issue. I take it back.
Paul Wernick: Yes. The answer is yes. Prequel.
Rhett Reese: [laughs]
Life came around during a period when stealth sequels like Blair Witch - which originally sold itself as The Woods - and Split were being released, which has led to fan theories trying to link other movies together. The most recent example is A Quiet Place, which some felt was a surprise sequel to J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield universe.
Life was actually in production long before Sony had even cast the upcoming Venom movie with Tom Hardy, so there was never really a chance the two projects would be connected. Life was a solid creature feature in its own right, and while it might have been fun if it had been a secret Venom prequel the whole time, the movie probably would have been seen as little more than a clever marketing gimmick had it gone that route.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018