*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Life*
After an eagle-eyed Reddit user spotted Spider-Man 3 footage in a teaser for Life, the theory that Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi horror was a discreet prequel to the recently announced Venom movie caught traction and appealed to the imagination of the masses.
The theory made sense: The Spider-Man villain-turned-antihero is a sentient alien and in Life, the six-man crew aboard the International Space Station discovers the first signs of alien life on Mars — a cute, microscopic organism named Calvin that transforms into gelatinous, blood-consuming flubber.
The trouble is, the all-seeing eye of the internet has been looking in the wrong place. It's not Venom we should be worried about, the true Life sequel is in fact J.J. Abrams' hand-held monster extravaganza, Cloverfield (2007). Admittedly, this isn't confirmed, but the the two films fit together like a scientist's hand in a plastic glove. Let's microscopically inspect the evidence.
- Life Goes On: 9 Alien Encounter Movies Like 'Life' That Will Give You Extraterrestrial Chills
- The Terrifying Twist Ending Of 'Life' Elevates This Alien Survival Horror Into Something Brilliant
- How Scary Is Sci-Fi 'Life', Is It Suitable For Kids, And Can You Stomach The Horror?
How 'Life' Links To The Cloverfield Universe
What started with an ingenious marketing campaign for the original #Cloverfield movie has spawned into collection of viral Easter Eggs and online ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) that provide additional context, as well as linking last year's 10 Cloverfield Lane and the recently revealed God Particle into one clever shared universe.
Evidence of the link between #Life and Cloverfield lies both within what we see on screen, and the context of what happens away from it, but let's start with the biggie — narratively speaking, the unnerving and unconventional Life ending ties in perfectly with the events at the beginning of Cloverfield.
Life ends with the two survivors of the station where Calvin has evolved into a mass-murderer — Dr. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) — exiting the station in escape pods. David plans to lure Calvin into the pod, before overriding the autopilot system and flying into the abyss of space, while Miranda plans to return to Earth to tell the terrifying tale.
Instead, Miranda collides with space-shrapnel and flies off into nothingness, while the pod we assume belongs to her — the one that pierces the Earth's atmosphere and plunges into the Ocean — actually belongs to David, who was over powered by the Martian. Calvin, the sneaky bastard, changed the course of the pod and splash lands on our planet.
At the end of Cloverfield, a subtle Easter Egg shows an object flying down and crashing into the sea. That object was a Japanese satellite, referred to as ChimpanzIII, which in Cloverfield folklore was the point that the monster — already alive and living in the ocean — was "awoken." Rather than the link being David's pod (these incidents are in different places), this could be a satellite taken off course by the collision depicted during Life.
This #theory doesn't suggest that the object was instead David's pod — although to some extent that works — but claims this is an event that occurs at a later date. The monster "awoken" was Calvin, who had moved from the crash site in Life (said to be near Vietnam, possibly the South China or Philippine Sea) and emigrated to the Atlantic.
Monsters Vs. Aliens: How Calvin And Clover Compare
Don't judge a book by its cover but do judge an alien by its color, ugly face, formation of limbs, genetic makeup, and its habitat. This is what this section is about — taking everything into consideration, there's evidence to suggest the Cloverfield monster is, in fact, a more mature version of Life's Calvin.
First, a brief history of the Cloverfield monster. In the ARG material, its identified as a deep sea creature who originates from Earth. He was discovered by a marine biologist working for the the nefarious mining company, Tagruato. That same company are said to have executed the employee who discovered the monster and covered up the story until it attacked their sea-drilling station, Churai Station, in the first recorded attack by the monster.
The locations add up; it's conceivable that after Calvin landed in the sea at the end of Life, he roamed the distance from Vietnam to the Philippine Sea, where he was first discovered by Tagruato. The Cloverfield monster is said to have grown consuming Seabed's Nectar, a mystery sea-based ingredient. Calvin grows each time he digests carbon-based foods (and was revived using glucose), making the progression from his size in Life to Cloverfield completely plausible, and would explain how he moved to New York without being detected.
On top of the creatures' mutual ability to deflect weapons (Calvin is said to survive the Earth's atmosphere and was immune to fire, Clover was hardly affected by advanced weaponry and missiles), their genetic structure, too, matches up. Although the Cloverfield monster was rumored to be living for thousands of years, talking to VFX World magazine in 2008, J.J. Abrams described the monster in much more Calvin-esque terms:
"It is not out there just killing. It is confused, lost, scared. It's a newborn."
And there's one last marker between the monsters and aliens — the name, perhaps the biggest indicator of all. Calvin (or, Kelvin) is a popular Easter Egg used by Abrams in most of his productions, including Star Trek, Lost and The Force Awakens. As the popular saying goes, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
What do you think? Is this theory clutching at straws, or is there a chance the Life sequel really is Cloverfield?