The names Ridley Scott and James Cameron will instantly get any movie buff’s attention upon mere mention. Both have contributed greatly to movie history, particularly in the sci-fi genre. Where would we be today without Scott’s Alien and Blade Runner, or without Cameron’s Aliens and the first two Terminator films?
Currently in the making is Scott’s upcoming film adaptation Forever War, which is based on the 1974 award-winning science fiction novel written by Joe Haldeman. It tells the tale of an interstellar war between humans and the enigmatic Tauran species. The book offered a mix of action and and in-depth storytelling, dealing with such things as the inhumanity of war, the bureaucracy that goes with it, and notions of time/space travel.
And, to bring all that to life onscreen, Scott is looking to follow in the technological footsteps of James Cameron’s Avatar.
During a “Blade Runner day” (whatever that means) last weekend, Scott gave some details about the Forever War adaptation he’s working on:
I’m filming a book by Joe Haldeman called Forever War. I’ve got a good writer doing it. I’ve seen some of James Cameron’s work [on Avatar], and I’ve got to go 3D. It’s going to be phenomenal.
It’s interesting to see one legend of the film world being inspired by another. It certainly seems like Scott misses the good old days of filming on the Alien ship Nostromo, or shooting Harrison Ford in the 2019 dystopian Los Angeles of Blade Runner. Cameron clearly has something rather special up his sleeve with Avatar, and I am ultra-curious to find out just how that one turns out.
But as far as Forever War goes, it seems like a plot cut very much from the same science fiction cloth as Avatar. Although not too similar as to mistake one for the other, it still takes place in space and both will undoubtedly have copious amounts of special effects. Of course, it’s been said that Forever War (the book) was meant to reflect upon Joe Haldeman’s service in Vietnam through a “space opera filter.” It’ll be interesting to see how that “reflection” translates to a big-screen sci-fi epic.
Similarities aside, any excuse for Scott to get back to his science fiction roots is a welcome one in my books. He created his best work while working in the sci-fi genre, and with some original source material to build off of (although I wonder just who that “good writer” is that will be adapting the script), and the fact that Scott is to go the 3D route, Forever War could turn out to be something pretty great.
What do you think?