Warning: Spoilers for Life's ending are present throughout the entirety of this story. If you haven't seen the film and don't want to be spoiled, bookmark this page and come back once you've seen the film.
Towards the end of Life, some extreme measures are required to save the human race. What was once a curious experiment in xenobiology turned into the creature known as Calvin, a killing machine bent on consuming all life on the International Space Station. After offing everyone but two crew members of the now infamous Pilgrim mission, one final play is conceived to protect the Earth from this deadly Martian scourge.
After turning the ISS into a low oxygen environment, Calvin is being lured, via oxygen candles, into an escape pod by Jake Gyllenhaal's Danny Jordan. This is a diversion, so Danny can send his pod into deep space, while Rebecca Ferguson's Miranda North is supposed to follow the auto-pilot course back to Earth. The plan is for Danny to skip off of the Earth's atmosphere, taking himself and the creature as far away from the planet as possible, while Miranda will warn their oversight committee of the threat that derailed their mission. Sure enough, Calvin enters Danny's pod, and he jettisons the craft, manually aiming for an atmospheric skip.
However, while Calvin winds up in the right pod, his grappling with Danny causes a collision that throws both pods off course. Despite their best efforts, Miranda's pod skips off Earth's atmosphere & go into deep space, while Danny's capsule lands on Earth, in Asian Pacific waters, where a fishing boat sails to meet them. Despite Gyllenhaal's protestations, they open the capsule, and we end on the ominous note of horns blaring, as other fishing boats are coming into frame. With an ending like that, one has to wonder just what comes next. Luckily, the writers kind of hinted at an idea:
What The Writers Think Will Happen Next
During their press rounds for Life, the film's writers touched upon what could happen after the film's downer ending. Specifically, co-writer Rhett Reese laid out the following scenario for THR:
So right there, the next steps in Calvin's Life story are tentatively planned. It suggests escalation, like when James Cameron turned Alien into Aliens. But the sequel premise is plentiful enough to give us some ammunition to move the story along in other ways. Let's explore.