“They are really trying to solve the problem, but this is a life form that is so adaptive it keeps a step ahead of them.”The filmmakers relied on real scientists to help create the alien.“We wanted the film to feel grounded and real, a science ‘fact-ion’ version of this story,” says Reese, who notes that we are still finding new species on Earth even as we look toward Mars. Calvin, as it turns out, quickly outgrows the cute phase.“We wanted to make it sort of out of the frying pan and into the fire for the astronauts, who aren’t stupid,” says Wernick.
NASA, by the way, has a mission in 2020 that would lead to getting Mars samples, and China may even be digging up the moon next year. Once the crew’s lead scientist (British actor Ariyon Bakare) manages to stimulate it, the cell starts to multiply. “Life” stars Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson as three of the six astronauts on the station where a Mars sample containing an inert single-celled organism is being studied. News is sent to Earth that extraterrestrial life has been discovered, and in a contest an elementary school class names it Calvin.
A geneticist suggested that Calvin could be a weird funguslike creature that seemed capable of rudimentary learning. Later Espinosa took the ideas in the script about how Calvin might develop to his friend, a famed Swedish graffiti painter called Ziggy. “He has a very stark sensibility,” says the Chilean-born, Sweden-based director. He then had the artist work with a scientist on the designs of Calvin.“While the film is a very fun, roller-coaster ride for audiences” Espinosa says, “as a director, I had other things I was interested in.”
Fans of nature documentaries are used to seeing life-and-death struggles between species, sometimes with bone-crunching endings. There is a possibility that we could find life on Mars, and if we did find some evidence, we would send it to the International Space Station.” The new sci-fi action film “Life,” directed by Daniel Espinosa (“Safe House”) and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (“Zombieland” and “Deadpool”), puts that fight for survival on the International Space Station and, unlike most others in the genre, takes care to give it a real-life edge.“What got me so scared,” says Espinosa about the script, “was that it could actually happen tomorrow.