EXCLUSIVE: Adding another big movie to its slate, Sony Pictures has committed to co-finance with Skydance Media Life, the tentatively titled Daniel Espinosa-directed Mars mission thriller that will star Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson. The film re-teams Reynolds with Deadpool writers Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese, and brings the actor back with Espinosa, who helmed Safe House. Sony will handle worldwide distribution.
Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg are producing with Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn. The move gives Sony another big-scale event film with global appeal, a big priority under Tom Rothman’s regime. The studio has been aggressive on that front, recently acquiring overseas on the Blade Runner sequel.
When Deadline revealed the project right after the outsize success of Deadpool in February, it seemed likely to land at Paramount. Things got uncomfortable because JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot has a smaller project at Paramount with familiar themes called God Particle, which is being directed by Julius Onah and was quickly set for Feb. 24, 2017 release. That created this opportunity for Sony, and they moved on it as soon as they read the script and Espinosa pitched his grand vision. The film hasn’t been dated yet. Life is a space thriller about the discovery of intelligent alien life. It is moving quickly toward liftoff.