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Spoilers: Screenwriters would like to turn Life into a franchise

03.27.2017by: Cody Hamman

Life Daniel Espinosa Jake Gyllenhaal

I didn't make it out to see director Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi thriller LIFE at the theatre this past weekend, and judging by the film's worldwide opening total of $28.7 million there are a lot of you reading this that can say the same thing. Arrow in the Head's own Eric Walkuski would likely tell us we didn't miss anything, since he gave the movie a 4/10 review.

LIFE tells the story of

a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

Over the opening weekend, The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision section posted an interview with LIFE screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick in which the pair expressed interest in continuing the story of a rampaging alien called Calvin with a LIFE franchise. I'm including the quotes on the franchise possibilities below, but to discuss the idea of a sequel they also have to discuss the ending of the movie that is currently in cinemas. So if you don't want to know how LIFE ends until you see the movie, you'll want to skip reading these quotes. SPOILERS follow.

True to the tradition of films like Alien, this first close encounter is disastrous, with the alien Calvin killing the astronauts and in a twist-ending, makes his way to Earth in the escape pod piloted by Jake Gyllenhaal's David Jordan.

Heat Vision: I kept hope that the astronauts would win, as they kept solving more and more problems. Did you always know these guys aren't going make it?

Rhett Reese: We always wanted it to end in a creepy fashion that set up at least the possibility for future movies and but the script is very much a seesaw between Calvin having an advantage and the astronauts having an advantage. We always wanted them to be smart, but then a new problem presents itself so when they got out of the frying pan they found themselves in the fire. And it just so happened that the last twist was that despite all their best intentions, Calvin was once again one step ahead of them at the end of the movie. It was very intentional and we just wanted to leave people with a real sense of goose bumps and anticipation of what might happen next. ...

Heat Vision: Would this be akin to James Cameron's Aliens, where it's a much bigger world compared to the contained world of the first Alien?

Reese: Completely. Just the fact that Calvin can now possibly reproduce, I think, is an interesting idea. We've dropped him in a situation that is teaming with life to hunt and to eat. That being the ocean, or the coast of Indonesia or Vietnam or wherever we are saying he's landed. So that opens it up right there. But just the idea of firewalls could extend to Earth in the sense that now they've failed to contain Calvin to the station. The question is, how would the Earth react? Obviously, this was an international effort, so there are a lot of countries cooperating. And again, they would be trying to contain this thing from moving forward and yet there might be more Calvins to deal with. To us, that screams interesting sequel.

Reese and Wernick may be hoping for a sequel, but with LIFE's opening weekend being called "a major disappointment", I'm doubting there will ever be a LIFE 2. The up side of the low opening numbers is that the film was made on a reasonable budget of $58 million. In weekend box office reports, Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer has been quoted as saying, "We are incredibly proud of this film."

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dykhovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare, and Hiroyuki Sanada, LIFE is in theatres right now.

Extra Tidbit: Would you like to see LIFE 2 happen?
Source: THRHeat Vision

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