‘Life’ draws upon worst-case space scenarios

Scene from 'Life'
An astronaut administers a shock to an alien life form in a Petri dish aboard the International Space Station, in a scene from the movie “Life.” Bad idea? (CTMG via YouTube)

A real-life organism provides the inspiration for the alien monster at the center of “Life,” a horror movie that’s set on the International Space Station. But you’d never guess which one.

Would you believe … slime mold?

“We used that as a model, working with the effects team, but ramped it up enormously,” said Adam Rutherford, who served as a science consultant for the film. Moviegoers can get a glimpse at the results in the online trailers for “Life,” which opens in theaters on March 24.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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