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Is the sci-fi movie Life actually a secret Venom prequel? The writers won't rule it out

We’re only a few days away from the release of the sci-fi thriller Life, which involves astronauts discovering a killer organism on board a space station. But could that same organism actually be the symbiote Venom from Marvel comic books and Spider-Man movies, making Life a stealth prequel to Sony’s newly-announced Venom film (opens in new tab)?

Before we get your hopes up, the answer is probably no. When (opens in new tab) asked writing duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick about a possible connection, they jokingly replied, “Yes, the answer is yes! We are tied to Venom! We are the prequel to Venom!" But let’s get real: if the movie actually was a prequel and the studio didn’t put that in the marketing in order to preserve a surprise for fans, it’s incredibly unlikely that the writers would admit to this ruse and blow the whole thing wide open only a few days before the film’s release.

Still, it’s easy to see why the theory has gained a lot of traction online recently. Reese says one reason is that the screenwriting pair “wrote a Venom screenplay, so I think people saw that connection" - although that particular screenplay never saw the light of day. "They also saw the Spider-Man 3 footage that sneaked its way into our last trailer (opens in new tab),” he said. Spider-Man 3 is the only Spidey film in which the character of Venom actually appears, but that quick second of Spider-Man 3 footage in the Life trailer was likely just a case of a studio or trailer editing company dropping a piece of stock footage into the video and not expecting internet sleuths to pinpoint its origin. In other words, it was likely just a simple editing choice, not a clever hint hidden in plain sight.

Reese agreed that Life would make a great Venom prequel, while Wernick excitedly starting drawing connections himself. "That's the symbiote!" Wernick said of his film’s alien. "Eddie Brock's on Earth. The symbiote's on Earth, finds Eddie Brock..." You can fill in the rest, but I’d be willing to bet decent money that the movie itself won’t actually make that connection explicit. In addition to the reasons listed above, the new Venom movie is being produced by former Marvel Studios chief Avi Arad and his Arad Productions; Life is produced by Skydance Productions and isn’t affiliated with Arad at all. You can bet that if Life had anything to do with Venom, Arad’s name would be all over it. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but hopefully Life will be a compelling sci-fi thriller without the comic connection.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson, Life hits theaters in the US and the UK this Friday, March 24, 2017.

Images: Sony Pictures

Ben Pearson
Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.