Ever since Life was released early last year, many thought that the Ryan Reynolds/Jake Gyllenhaal sci-fi thriller could secretly be a prequel to the standalone Venom movie that had been announced.
While not a lot of folks truly believed it, the evidence to support these jokes was everywhere. For starters, Sony was producing both movies. The Venom character is Marvel comics is created when a gooey symbiote with a mind of its own, who has a need to inhabit the life-forms it comes into contact with, crashes into Earth and finds a new host. Spoilers for those who haven't seen Life: the movie ends with the shapeless, constantly-evolving alien arriving on Earth via Jake Gyllenhaal's insides. These two beings operate in an eerily similar capacity.
All of the clues were there, but it still seemed like too much of a stretch, especially for a studio like Sony, who's had some problems with franchise-building and secret-keeping over the years. However, there is one piece of evidence that hasn't been explored, and it seems to tie all of these things back together to actually connect the two films together.
Of course, I'm talking about The Life Foundation.
The Venom movie will be based on the Lethal Protector story from the comics. In that arc, The Life Foundation is a company that tries to weaponize the symbiote after they extract it from Eddie Brock. In a photo from the set, Venom star Tom Hardy teased that The Life Foundation would be in the film, as the name of the corporation was written in his character's notebook.
Yes, The Life Foundation and Life only share a name, but that's enough to connect all of the other evidence that has piled up over the last year. The film was called Life because of the quest to find intelligence on another planet. But of all the different names that could have been used for that movie, doesn't it seem a little too coincidental that they chose Life, and not something that could be directly tied to another franchise the studio is bringing to life one year later?
When the movie is basically telling the backstory of the Venom symbiote, and the alien featured in the film looks and acts exactly like the force behind the Marvel villain, wasn't there a chance that the studio understood that calling it Life would be just one connection too many?
Realistically, the chances are slim that Venom will actually take place in the same universe as Life, permanently connecting the two franchises. But when you take The Life Foundation into account, the likelihood of the films overlapping is higher than ever.1comments
Let's hope Sony actually has the guts to try and pull this one off. In a world where Hollywood is built on connected franchise, this could be a major move in the right direction for a studio that has failed to do so since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films over a decade ago.
Venom, starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, and Jenny Slate, is set to hit theaters on October 5.