In Daniel Espinosa’s Life, astronauts aboard the International Space Station retrieve the first Martian lifeform. It’s not a tiny dude in a Centurion helmet, but a small, sentient organism that grows powerful and malevolent. While Life bears a strong semblance to horror movies like Alien, Marvel fans on Reddit are hoping Life is actually a Venom movie in disguise.
The speculation began on Reddit’s movie forum, r/movies, when a user pointed out a recycled shot from Spider-Man 3 in the trailer for Life. One of the top comments, from a user named Rubix89, speculates: “What if Life is actually a symbiote/Venom origin story?”
That’s when fans went nuts.
Redditors immediately began stringing together plausible (but totally absurd) links from Life to Venom, an iconic villain of Marvel’s Spider-Man, whose own movie is in the works at Sony. In Marvel’s comics, the powers of Venom comes from the Venom Symbiote, an alien parasite that feeds on its host’s aggression and gives them abilities.
In The Amazing Spider-Man #252, published in 1984, Spider-Man brings home from the distant Battleworld the Venom Symbiote, following the events of Secret Wars. After latching onto Peter and giving him his iconic black suit, in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 the Symbiote finds Eddie Brock, a rival journalist whose grudge against Peter attracts the parasite and turns him into Venom.
Now fans on Reddit are open to the idea of Venom’s origins being rewritten into a standalone sci-fi horror, at least until the Symbiote lands on Earth and within the Marvel Universe. While the theory is, to put it mildly, ridiculous, it’s difficult to ignore the yard strings. Even Redditors admit it sounds far-fetched, but none of them deny how much “fun” it would be.
As RequiemEternal put it: “This got me thinking about the possibility of a movie that disguises the fact that it’s part of the MCU until it releases and catches everyone by surprise. It’d never actually work in practice, of course, but fun to think of.”
XRuinX wrote: “This is the greatest reimaging of a comic character idea ever! Big Venom fan and I’d totally be fine if they didnt intend it but decide later its a prequel.”
Another user named Brookefinancial is a little more skeptical: “That would actually make sense but I don’t know why they would’ve wasted Ryan Reynolds on a movie setting up a spinoff for Spiderman. Maybe that’s part of the trick…”
John-Tyler Flounder is more succinct in their response: “O SHIT.”
Here’s what makes the idea shamefully fun: A Venom movie is coming from Sony, and Life’s screenwriters are Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who were behind Marvel and 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool. And not for nothing, but Sony and Marvel will be releasing Spider-Man: Homecoming this summer on July 7.
2017 began with M. Night Shyamalan’s Split — a surprise follow-up to Unbreakable — which proved that unannounced sequels generate a novel buzz. (Though not a critical success, last year’s The Woods was revealed to be Blair Witch, a sequel to The Blair Witch Project. (It profited from its small $5 million budget.) Split and movies like it shouldn’t be the new model for sequels, but that hasn’t stopped Marvel fans from gushing over the idea. As WordofGabb said on Reddit: “It makes sense. And after Split, anything is possible.”
Life, which definitely isn’t a Venom, maybe, will be released on March 24.