Jake Gyllenhaal Leading 'Life' With Ryan Reynolds And Rebecca Ferguson

Mars is attracting white-hot stars. Rebecca Ferguson was the first to sign on for Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi thriller Life, hot on the heels of her breakout role in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Ryan Reynolds' casting was revealed just days after Deadpool's record-breaking opening weekend. Now it's sucked Jake Gyllenhaal into its orbit as well. Whatever else this movie has going for or against it, that cast alone makes Life worth a look. 

THR reports that Gyllenhaal isn't just joining Reynolds in the movie, he's actually replacing him. With Reynolds busy shooting the action-thriller Hitman's Bodyguard, Gyllenhaal will take on the role once earmarked for Reynolds, while Reynolds moves into a smaller supporting role. Still, we should see plenty of both as Life is described as an ensemble piece.

Written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Deadpool), Life is a large-scale sci-fi project about a crew aboard the International Space Station. They retrieve a sample from Mars and discover signs of life, but the trouble begins when it proves far more intelligent — and more dangerous — than expected. Life is being put together by Skydance Media, and it's likely (though not confirmed) that it'll eventually find a home at Paramount.

Gyllenhaal's been acting for a long time, but it's in the past few years that he's really emerged as one of the most interesting actors of his generation. For my money, his unsettling performance in 2014's Nightcrawler was a career-best. Gyllenhaal's also demonstrated pretty solid taste in projects, so if Life has caught his eye (not to mention Ferguson's and Reynolds' and Espinosa's and Skydance's), it could be something special.

Gyllenhaal will next be seen in Jean-Marc Vallée's Demolition and Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals. Also coming up for him are David Gordon Green's Boston Marathon bombing drama Stronger (not to be confused with Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg's Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day) and Joon-ho Bong's Netflix monster movie Okja.