Gyllenhaal takes over the lead role from Reynolds who will now play a supporting character in the sci-fi film, while Waltz is joining Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon in the comedy.
Jake Gyllenhaal is officially on board Daniel Espinosa's upcoming sci-fi, "Life (2017)", Variety has learned. The 35-year-old actor is set to star as the male lead in the picture, which has tapped Rebecca Ferguson as the female lead.
According to TheWrap, Gyllenhaal's role was first offered to Ryan Reynolds. The "Deadpool" star had to turn it down due to a scheduling conflict, but he'll still be a part of the project by taking a smaller role in the supporting cast.
Espinosa is directing "Life" based on the script penned by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, the duo behind "Deadpool". The film will follow the crew of the International Space Station who, after retrieving a sample from Mars, discovers that it displays signs of life and proves to be more intelligent than expected.
In other casting news, Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau have both signed on to star in the comedy "Downsizing". The two-time Oscar winner and the "Inherent Vice" actress are joining previously-announced cast members Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon.
Alexander Payne directs the flick, which centers on an Omaha man joining the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size before moving to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world. Payne also co-wrote the screenplay with Jim Taylor and co-produces alongside Mark Johnson.
"Downsizing" will begin its production this spring and is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2017.