It’s time for a little more sci-fi horror in 2017, with the upcoming release of Life adding to the potential of both Alien: Covenant and the much-anticipated arrival of Stranger Things Series 2. This time the danger is off-planet, but pretty close to home with a discovery of extraterrestrial life in the International Space Station in orbit around Earth.
From the look of the trailer below, there are unboubtedly similarities to the original Alien film, which some have even gone on to suggest is more a steal than a nod. However, there’s been no monster shot as of yet and we’re expecting something a little more like The Thing than the xenomorph mother hunter that is Ridley Scott’s alien.
Life will be making its way to a red-cushioned seat near you pretty soon with a UK release date planned for the 24th March 2017, coinciding with the same date as its arrival in the US. It’ll have competition from a couple of comedic remakes with CHiPs and Power Rangers out on the same weekend in the UK, so if it doesn’t take the number one spot then it should be blasted out of an air lock and left to the barren expanses of space.
The plot takes place on the International Space Station as the crew perform a successful capture of a wayward probe returning from Mars. The probe contains a sample believed to harbour life and when they’re able to get it on board to investigate they confirm the first ET contact in history. However, just ask quickly as jubilation kicks in, the mobile organism performs some kind of Martian judo attack on the scientist performing the analysis and all kinds of frights ensue.
A big name crew has been assembled to bring the impending blockbuster together with Jake Gyllenhaal (Everest) and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) making up one half of the International Space Station team, Dr. David Jordan and Rory Adams. Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl On The Train) also gets in on the alien battling escapade as Miranda Bragg, along with British actor Ariyon Bakare (Rogue One) as Hugh Derry, Olga Yurievna Dykhovichnaya as Katerina Golovkin and Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine) as Sho Kendo.
Life has been directed by Daniel Espinosa, who’s previous credits include Safe House and Child 44. Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have written the screenplay with Bonnie Curtis, David Ellison and Dana Goldberg producing. Executive Producers are Don GrangerExecutive and Vicki Dee Rock. You can see more on the production, along with way too many stupid gifs at the film’s official Twitter page.
We’re easy pickings when it comes to sci-fi horror, but we learned our lesson with Prometheus, so we’ll be treating Life with judicious caution. The comparisons to Alien aren’t without their foundations, so a lot will depend on the delivery of the rest of the film. However, it’s currently looking less like a slasher and more like a thriller, so maybe it’s got a few surprised up its sleeve.
Arrival did the impossible by delivering an alien movie that felt fresh and new. Life doesn’t look like it’s got too much chance of following suit, but if it’s a tense sci-fi thriller with some good jumps and impressive visuals then it could be enough to please.