Actor Ryan Reynolds is still flying high off of what has to be the biggest success of his career: his hilarious and violent comic book movie Deadpool. Now, Reynolds is re-teaming with the film’s screenwriters, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, for a completely different project over at Sony Pictures, reports Deadline. Skydance will be co-funding the science fiction project, which is called Life, with Daniel Espinosa in the director’s chair.
Ryan Reynolds and Daniel Espinosa already have a fairly successful working relationship — Espinosa directed Reynolds, along with Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, in 2012’s Safe House. The action-thriller may have gotten mixed reviews, however it was able to make up for it at the box office, grossing over $120 million domestically. But with the new Reynolds/Espinosa project, they will be joined by actor Jake Gyllenhaal and Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, who starred in last year’s summer blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Gyllenhaal is certainly in the prime of his career, coming off of critically-acclaimed performances in films like Nightcrawler and Southpaw. Ferguson, who blew audiences and critics away as an action star in the long-running Tom Cruise series, has just jump-started her career to a brand new level, having already been rumored to return as Ilsa Faust in M:I 6 – Mission Impossible.
According to EW, Life will center on a group of scientific researchers (Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal And Rebecca Ferguson) on a mission to Mars, who end up discovering alien life forms, and maybe more than they intended. The sci-fi project currently has no release date, and when it will be beginning production has yet to be announced. Daniel Espinoza apparently came in with a great pitch for the project and wowed the studio execs at Sony, so much so that it landed him the directing gig, but the Paul Wernick-Rhett Reese project seemed as if it was going to fall into the hands of Paramount Pictures. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company already had a project at Paramount that shared some similar themes, called God Particle.
Ryan Reynolds has had a tough time attaching himself to both financially and critically successful films, and he had starred in an unfortunate string of poorly received comic book adaptations. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern, and R.I.P.D did not do the actor any favors in terms of commercial appeal. But all of that has changed now that he is starring Deadpool, which has crossed the $300 million mark domestically and has hit $700 million worldwide. Neither Reynolds nor 20th Century Fox were expecting this Marvel character would ever be this popular. To no one’s surprise, a sequel to the film was announced immediately.
Ryan Reynolds also recently attended the White House state dinner on March 13, and gave 14-year-old Sasha Obama her own fangirl moment when the two met. Sasha also sat next to Ryan Reynolds’ wife, actress Blake Lively.
During an interview with GQ in 2015, the Deadpool actor commented on how he chooses his roles and whether or not he started specifically gunning for indie projects.
“Not particularly. It’s not deliberate. But I find that, like, studio movies have always been much more deliberate choices. You just never know. I’ve done big movies that just absolutely sucked, once they were finally cut together and put up on the big screen. And I’ve done small movies where the same thing can happen. You just never know. I do have faith in directors. I believe that film is a director’s medium.”
Ryan himself even acknowledged some of the unfortunate cinematic experiences he’s made.
“There have been some hard-earned experiences with respect to that,” Reynolds commented. “But I have to take whatever responsibility I have to take, too. I’m not just saying, ‘Oh, it was them’ or ‘They f****d this up.’ I also chose it, you know. There’s my face up there the whole time. I made those choices.”
You can still catch Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool, which is currently in theaters.
[Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM]