It’s safe to say that Ryan Reynolds had a very happy Valentine’s Day weekend this year, with his long-in-the-making Deadpool debuting to record-setting numbers. But, it seems Reynolds is wasting no time looking for his next big project. The actor is reportedly currently in talks to star in the upcoming blockbuster space thriller, Life.
According to Deadline, Life chronicles the story of a manned mission to Mars that ends up leading to the discovery of intelligent alien life. Reynolds is currently in discussions to star opposite Rebecca Ferguson, who herself is coming off a big year after her turn in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Details about either of their specific characters have yet to be released, but the project is reported to be distributed through Paramount with Skydance Productions on board to produce.
If Reynolds does end up closing a deal to take on the lead role, the movie would reunite the actor with director Daniel Espinosa, who signed on to helm Life back in November. The two previously worked together on the 2012 action thriller, Safe House. Even more excitingly, Life would also re-team Reynolds with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the same duo behind the script for the actor’s current hit, Deadpool. As fans have probably heard multiple times by now, the two scribes were a significant part of Reynolds and director Tim Miller’s years-long effort to finally get the Merc with a Mouth his own solo movie.
With such a notable group of names attached, Life certainly sounds like a potentially promising project for Reynolds to take on. Still, coming off a monster hit like Deadpool, it’s clear the actor is about to find himself more in demand than ever, and he’d be smart to be extra picky with his choices right about now.
For Reynolds, this career high has been a long time coming. While the actor has delivered several terrific and often underrated performances in his day, he’s never quite been able to reach the pinnacles of success of some of his fellow actors. For every critically acclaimed role (Buried, Voices), there have been a slew of choices that are either forgettable (The Proposal, The Change-Up) or just downright bad (R.I.P.D, Green Lantern).
And then came Deadpool. The long-in-the-works superhero movie finally gave Reynolds a starring vehicle he excelled in and the result was record-breaking, literally. Deadpool earned a whopping $282.1 million against a budget of $58 million, making it both the biggest film of 2016 and the biggest opening ever for an R-rated film.
Whether Reynolds can bank off this momentum and find hits outside of the comic book world remains to be seen, but Life could be a promising start. While it’s true that Espinosa has had mixed results with his follow-ups to Safe House (last year’s Child 44, starring Tom Hardy, flopped at the box office), the project has strong selling points with the attachment of a rising star like Ferguson and the writers of Deadpool.
We’ll have to stay tuned to see if Reynolds officially boards the project. In the meantime, the actor will next appear on the big screen in the action thriller Criminal, due out April 15. A Deadpool sequel has also already been green-lit (to no one’s surprise) and is expected to be fast-tracked to hit theaters next year.