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.
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.).
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