Jake Gyllenhaal Lands Lead in Sci-Fi Movie ‘Life’ as Ryan Reynolds Takes Smaller Role

Daniel Espinosa is directing the Skydance film, which will co-star Rebecca Ferguson

Jake Gyllenhaal is taking over the lead role in Daniel Espinosa‘s sci-fi movie “Life” from Ryan Reynolds, who has agreed to take a smaller role due to a scheduling conflict, TheWrap has learned.

Skydance Productions is backing the film, which was written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, the duo responsible for Reynolds’ own “Deadpool.” Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg are producing “Life” with Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn.

The film follows a group of astronauts who discover signs of intelligent life in a sample retrieved from Mars. “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” star Rebecca Ferguson is playing the female lead.

Reynolds will be busy filming “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (which just got a new director) at the same time “Life” is in production, so he’s available for fewer shoot days and couldn’t play the lead, though he’s honoring his commitment to the project and staying involved in a supporting capacity.

Gyllenhaal next stars in the excellent drama “Demolition” and Tom Ford‘s “Nocturnal Animals.” He’s also playing one of the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing in Lionsgate’s “Stronger.” He’s represented by WME and his casting was first reported by Variety.

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