Columnist Leonard David

In 'Life' Mars Sample-Return Film, 'Be Careful What You Search For'

Life movie poster
(Image credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2016 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved)

Mars attacks … this time in a new movie called "Life."

To be released in the U.S. on March 24, the going-in theme as advertised for Life is that an international space crew discovers life from Mars .

That's the good news.

But the delivery package of samples to their spacecraft from the Red Planet has an edgy side. As one poster for the movie notes: "Be careful what you search for."

This horror, sci-fi thriller features actors Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ryan Reynolds. The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa known for 2012's "Safe House," "Child 44" (2015) and "Easy Money" (2010).

(Image credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2016 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved)

At quick glance, the film appears part "Andromeda Strain" and "Alien" – but the outcome is TBD.

According to early details from Sony pictures, Life tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars.

As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form turns out to be more intelligent than anyone ever expected.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2016 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved)

The production company for Life is Skydance and will be distributed by Columbia Pictures.

Leonard David is author of "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet," published by National Geographic. The book is a companion to the National Geographic Channel series "Mars." A longtime writer for, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook or Google+. Originally published on

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Leonard David
Space Insider Columnist

Leonard David is an award-winning space journalist who has been reporting on space activities for more than 50 years. Currently writing as's Space Insider Columnist among his other projects, Leonard has authored numerous books on space exploration, Mars missions and more, with his latest being "Moon Rush: The New Space Race" published in 2019 by National Geographic. He also wrote "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet" released in 2016 by National Geographic. Leonard  has served as a correspondent for SpaceNews, Scientific American and Aerospace America for the AIAA. He has received many awards, including the first Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History in 2015 at the AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium. You can find out Leonard's latest project at his website and on Twitter.