Ridley Scott (Not Quite) Reuniting With ‘Blade Runner’ Writer for ‘Forever War’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 10th, 2013 at 3:54 am,

In recent days the internet has been in a flurry with the exciting news that Ridley Scott and his Blade Runner screenwriter David Peoples were working together on an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s science fiction book Forever War. While Scott’s involvement in the film is old news, the exciting part came when it was revealed that Peoples had penned the script.

There’s just one problem – while the news is correct, it is unfortunately slightly incorrect!

Haldeman was recently blogging on his site, answering some questions on his message board. One reader asked about adapting The Forever War for the screen and in response the author said:

“(Ridley)Scott has a script; last I heard, it was the fourth rewrite. I’ve talked to the writer — he has good credits, like Unforgiven.”

According to Deadline this is now “outdated information”. The site states that although Peoples may have worked on the script awhile ago, World War Z scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan is the latest writer to be working on a draft of Forever War. So, at the very least it sounds as if Carnahan is the fifth writer onboard the project and that Peoples’ draft will be superseded. Sounds like the book is tough nut to crack.

Now, I hear some of you asking, “What is The Forever War about?” According to Wikipedia:

The Forever War is a contemplative story of soldiers fighting an interstellar war between humanity and the enigmatic Tauran species. The pithy, insightful explorations of the inhumanity of war and of bureaucracy, and of the psychological effects resulting from time dilation space travel (a soldier returns home after centuries away).”

forever war Ridley Scott (Not Quite) Reuniting With Blade Runner Writer for Forever War

It sounds like quite a heavy and dense novel – something that would be suitable for Scott, as he doesn’t really do light and fluffy. Even his fairy tale Legend was dark. I can’t see this film making it to screens anytime soon. It seems that nearly every other week Scott attaches himself to a new film, and it is believed that his next directing effort will be a prequel to his sci-fi classic Alien.

It’s stating the obvious to say that Peoples is a talented writer, as he has written Blade Runner, the aforementioned Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven, as well as Terry Gilliam’s mind-boggler Twelve Monkeys. Sure, it would be awesome to see Peoples and Scott reunite after all these years , but I don’t think that it’s going to be on The Forever War.

If the situation on The Forever War changes, then you can read about it here on Screen Rant.

Sources: Deadline & Joe Haldeman

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  1. Peoples can be a bit hit-or-miss. Unforgiven and Twelve Monkeys fine, but to be fair, he only rewrote certain elements of Hampton Fancher’s script for Blade Runner, and he’s also partially responsible for the underwhelming Soldier (itself a liberal “borrowing” of Harlan Ellison’s Outer Limits episode of the same name), Salute Of The Jugger (which he also directed), and Abyss cash-in Leviathan.

    The Forever War was Haldeman’s allegory of his experiences in Vietnam; in some ways an anti-Starship Troopers. If even that novel had to be turned into Full Metal 90210 to find an audience, I can see why any kind of adaptation of this one’s causing problems.

    • Leviathan is awesome. The effects are hokey, sure. But that doesn’t make it bad. Soldier does suck though.

      • I found Leviathan PAINFUL, scubadonc! Never mind the effects, the Alien/Thing stolen plot or the breathtakingly clunky TV movie direction – the dialogue’s shocking. Reminded me of Inseminoid. The actors didn’t stand a chance…