Next week, Columbia Pictures will release the science fiction horror film Life, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal. But with the surprise announcement this week that Venom, a spin-off of the Spider-Man franchise, is arriving in theaters next year, some are asking if there’s more to Life than meets the eye.
The plot of Life involves the crew of the International Space Station discovering what appears to be proof of life on Mars. When the creature grows and begins to attack them, though, things quickly go awry.
Comic book fans should be able to spot the similarities to the Venom character pretty easily. Venom is actually an alien symbiote that attaches itself to a human host and becomes a sort of living suit. Spider-Man himself initially wore the symbiote as a new suit but eventually cast it off.
The alien in Life appears to grow and attach itself to the human crew in a similar manner. What’s more, it was noted earlier this week that the latest trailer for Life actually borrows what appears to be some B-roll footage from Spider-Man 3. A crowd scene features the exact same cast of extras gazing up at the sky:
Now, that could easily be a coincidence. In fact, it happens more frequently than you might think. Still, it’s another curious connection between Life and the Spider-Man universe.
Another item of note is the writing team behind Life, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The duo previously collaborated on the script for Deadpool, another film based on a Marvel comic book.
Some would argue the presence of Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds in Life would debunk this theory. But Spider-Man and Deadpool exist in two different cinematic universes, with the rights to each held by different studios.
This kind of bait-and-switch marketing tactic has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Last year, Lionsgate released an intense trailer for a new horror film called The Woods, but at San Diego Comic Con it was revealed to actually be titled Blair Witch. Likewise, Paramount released 10 Cloverfield Lane last year, which was known as The Cellar until very close to its release.
More than likely, Life is exactly what it appears to be: a standalone sci-fi thriller. But don’t be surprised if it turns out to have a connection to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and his most famous nemesis.