Ridley Scott’s ‘Forever War’ Adaptation Lands ‘All You Need Is Kill’ Writer

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 29th, 2012 at 6:51 am,

forever war ridley scott Ridley Scotts Forever War Adaptation Lands All You Need Is Kill Writer

Many people were pleased when Ridley Scott decided to pick up his science-fiction paintbrush for the first time in 30 years and make Prometheus; even following on the heels of that divisive pseudo-Alien prequel, there remains a lot of interest in Scott tackling another lofty futuristic tale, be it a second Blade Runner film or Prometheus sequel.

However, there’s a sci-fi project that Scott has (literally) been waiting almost three decades to direct (besides Blade Runner 2, that is): an adaptation of the 1976 Nebula/Hugo/Locus award-winning novel The Forever War. Today, reports are in that a new screenwriter has been recruited for Scott’s big screen interpretation of author Joe Haldeman’s source material (which is considered in some circles to be a landmark achievement in the sci-fi literary genre).

Scott had to wait 25 years before he was able to acquire the rights to Haldeman’s book back in 2008. He soon began plans for the cinematic version of Forever War to be filmed in 3D, citing James Cameron’s approach to Avatar as his inspiration (though, the movie hadn’t even been released at that point). Such people as David Webb Peoples (co-writer of Blade Runner) and Matthew Michael Carnahan (who co-wrote the upcoming World War Z adaptation) were set to draw up script drafts; however, things got put on hold when Scott took over the planned Alien prequel – and, eventually, transformed it into Prometheus.

ridley scott prometheus blade runner sequels Ridley Scotts Forever War Adaptation Lands All You Need Is Kill Writer

Ridley Scott on the set of ‘Prometheus’

Here is a description of Haldeman’s original novel:

The Earth’s leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand–despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away.  A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home.  But “home” may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries…

Deadline is reporting that Fox 2000 and Scott have set Dante Harper to write up a new script draft for the Forever War adaptation.  Harper, as it were, co-penned next year’s fairy tale/B-movie mashup Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Tom Cruise’s sci-fi thriller All You Need Is Kill (which is currently in-production). Of course, it’s Harper’s work on the latter that makes him a reasonable candidate for Scott’s project – as both are based on stories that meld complex theoretical sci-fi concepts – ones dealing with the mechanics of time and space, to be exact – with socio-political themes that are inherent to just about any installment in the “human military vs. aliens” sub-genre (see: Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game, etc.).

tom cruise all you need is kill Ridley Scotts Forever War Adaptation Lands All You Need Is Kill Writer

Tom Cruise in ‘All You Need Is Kill’

Moreover, Forever War sounds ripe material to be translated into a contemplative, yet visually-arresting, sci-fi film that would play to Scott’s strengths as a cinematic storyteller. Of course, there’s a strong chance that Scott will next turn his attention to one of the other aforementioned new sci-fi franchise installments that he’s been actively putting together (after he finishes post-production on Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor, that is).

Would you like to see Scott tackle The Forever War next, rather than a Blade Runner or Prometheus sequel? Let us know in the comments section


Source: Deadline

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  1. Ridley Scott is just confusing me now. Im tired of speculating on films he ” might” make or is ” interested” in. I’m just gonna wait till an official project announcement is made from his camp, and then I’ll speculate on that film.

  2. The Forever War is one of my favourite novels of all time and Ridley Scott was once one of my favourites (though I still think he’s great at times). But the writer to Hansel & Gretel? D.W. Harper hasn’t written any films released as of yet, but I don’t think Hansel & Gretelt (or All You Need is Kill) look very promising. Though, I haven’t watched it yet so I don’t know. I’m not exactly comfortable with this decision.

  3. Yes. I want Ridley Scott to direct ‘The Forever War’ next. It sounds more interesting.

    • Yes…I agree. Forever War must be next however it must be done right. I believe Ridley Scott is probably the only one that has the inspiration and vision to make this so. I read the novel in high school in the 70s and it’s one of my favorites (along with all of Arthur C. Clarke’s!).

  4. Sick!!!

  5. Surely he has some personal things to think about instead though!

  6. Wow, I was thinking about All You Need is Kill and how awesome it would be if 70′s sci-fi novels took over comic book films. Then immediately as I stop thinking about it, I see this headline!

  7. I am currently in a large undertaking to read the top 100 sci-fi novels of all time. Looks like I know which to read next.

  8. Any news on the Hyperion Cantos Film (based on the book by Dan Simmons) ?
    I know somewhat off topic, but its Science Fiction too. But i don’t know who will direct it, but strangely Bradley Cooper is said to write the script ?

    • Oh my god! Only my all-time favourite books!

      I was lucky to get a nice hard-cover edition of the first two books in one.

      Another that would be awesome to see as a film is.. well, hell, ANYTHING by Greg Bear!! Eon maybe?

      • Eon seems tragically out of the question while Rendezvous With Rama is still on the table, even though the former is vastly superior in terms of characterization, plot and all-round jaw-dropping concept, and would make for a movie with far broader appeal. Eternity was hands-down one of the best SF sequels I’ve ever read too.

        • I would die for the Xeelee Sequence by S. Baxter. The Scale of these stories dwarf everything done so far, spanning basically the whole Lifetime of the Universe , and the Xeelee and Photino Birds make Star Wars look like Preschool Movies (which they are , indeed.) Unfilmable.

          • I have to admit the only one of his I’ve read is Voyage. The Xeelee Sequence books do look good though.

  9. They should make Old Man’s War by Scalzi. That would be badass…

    • I saw a while back that it had been optioned. Who knows. It’s only the most entertaining scifi offering of the last 15 years or so…

    • Currently reading it. The book is pretty much film ready so far. Would be great.

  10. Not to be picky but it’s ‘Joe Haldeman’ not ‘Halderman’.

    So, come on Ridley, do this one next, forget Bladerunner sequel’s and Prometheus sequel’s (cos’ I really don’t care about either of those anymore).

    Give us a ‘Forever War’, and do it good will yah!

    • Amen…it’s got more potential to be an epic movie and Ridley is not getting any younger so would be good now while he had the energy and his wits.

  11. Haldeman’s series should make for some pretty good Science Fiction, though I think J.M.S. used the central idea for the war found in the books in his ‘Babylon 5′ series. Once brought to the screen I think it will seem very familiar to many who’ve never read the books. I’m kind of torn though that no one has tackled “Return from the Stars” much earlier, which explored some similar themes back in 1961. I’m also a Bear/Baxter fan and would love to see “Eon” or “Manifold Space” adapted, the latter being an alien invasion story done right, probably neither film-able.

  12. I first read “The Forever War” about 35 years ago — I remember then that I was hoping Stanley Kubrick would make it into a film. Obviously, the special effects would have been more challenging then. I look forward to seeing the film within a few years — and there are a good number of capable directors who could do it justice.

  13. Scott should transform this book into a great movie. Forever war deserves it.

  14. I fear anyone making Forever War into a film. and which version?
    The “original” version that was released, or his “director’s cut where he “restores” the book to what he wanted published but was talked out of by his publisher?

    Prometheus was boooorrrring! And why do they always have people do such dumb stuff that none would ever do in real life? Ok, visually it was alright, but story? ha! And now Hansel & Gretle??? are you kidding me? It’s the tin age of Hollywood…

    And why the heck doesn’t anyone tackle something really epic like Saberhagen’s Book of Swords?? Now there is something that would adapt to film really well…

    • How about michael moorcock’s Dorian hawk moon books

  15. Mr. Scott can do Forever War as long as he runs it past me before public release :) I don’t want it ruined!

    Prometheus had an interesting premise but it just went nowhere and the characters did some really unbelievable stuff.

  16. I’ve read the book when I was 14(1984). Why has this not been made into a moive yet? Ridley Scott has a Real Winner, If he dosn’t do this. I’ll do it. I need a job.

  17. Ridley Ridley Ridley… if you aren’t going to make the Forever War, or you’re going to hire hack writers like you did for Prometheus, then give it up and let someone else do it…

  18. Forever War is an awesome book and some of the ideas fronted have actually come through, such as world leaders promoting homosex as a way of reducing population growth. “A billion well adjusted homosexuals” as he puts it in the book. Please, don’t change a thing, it’s an awesome story, could be done with the same gritty feel as Starship Troopers because the story was a bit gritty, but don’t forget the love story inside for the girls.

  19. A lot of the forever war fans have been waiting for years. Why not do it and take it off the table then on to stuff that hasn’t been waiting so long.

  20. I have been waiting for forever war to be a movie FOR 20+ YEARSB. JUST DO IT!

  21. My favourite novel!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Forever War as a movie would be an all time great, but it would have to be as Joe intended, with no parts of the novel left out.
    When Ridley Scott made Alien we had to wait a good few years to see the scene that told what the creature was actually doing.

    Looking forward to see how the fighting suit pans out.

  22. The forever War in my view is the best Sci Fi ever written. I have been monitoring Scot’s thinking on the making of the Novel into a movie. Done properly and keeping in line with the story by the author, it could be the best SciFi movie ever made. If Scott has the rights to the movie, he should make it a priority over other scifi projects. I was 35 years old when I first read the Forever War and at currently aged 67, I would like to see it in movie form before I kick the bucket. Come on Scott, pull your finger out and get on with it. Your the only one who can do the book justice in film form.

  23. I loved this novel but if anyone from World War Z has any part in it I will not watch that movie. They butchered that book so bad the only thing that was similar was the name.