Hollywood has always loved making movies about wars, but only certain types: "Great Wars" of the past become films about heroic martial mythology, geopolitical unrest of the present typically become cautionary tales (or pacifist warnings) and imaginary wars of the far future (or a galaxy far, far away) are fodder for science-fiction spectacle. But one subject that's often avoided is hypothetical conflicts of the near-future -- often out of fear that reality will eventually render any warnings, predictions, or scenarios such a story might offer "dated" sooner than later.
But one filmmaker who's always been hard to scare away from a project is Sam Raimi: The legendary Evil Dead and Spider-Man filmmaker has signed on to direct World War III, a work of speculative-fiction set in a hypothetical near-future global conflict.
The project, which Raimi and his associates had been pursuing for several years, does not yet have an official screenplay or listed screenwriter. The setup for the story will be based on The Next 100 Years: A Forecast of The 21st Century, a 2009 book by political philosopher and geopolitical forecaster George Friedman. The text uses historical, demographic, and geopolitical analysis to predict the near-future state of world affairs and politics. Among the book's more noteworthy predictions is the United States' "War on Terror" being supplanted by a Second Cold War with Russia, a fragmentation of China into multiple nation-states, Poland becoming the dominant political and military force in Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey effectively taking control of the Middle East and a profound shift in the United States ethnic/demographic makeup driven by increased immigration from Mexico and South America and mechanization of the labor force.
The title, World War III, refers to a three year "limited war" conflict Friedman predicts to occur around 2050 following a technological arms-race involving militarized space programs between the United States, Japan, and Turkey. In the hypothetical conflict, the U.S. allies with China, Britain, "Polish Bloc" Europe, India and China to oppose the combined forces of Japan, Turkey, France, and Germany; with the U.S.-led coalition ultimately victorious. In Friedman's hypothetical outline of military/industrial development, the war is fought primarily with hypersonic aircraft, soldiers in strength-enhancing powered-armor and space-based weaponry including military bases on the Moon. It is presumed that Raimi's film will place fictional characters amid these events.
The film will mark the first venture into "hard" science-fiction for the fan-favorite filmmaker, who became a cult icon through films like Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, and Darkman before breaking big with the genre-redefining Spider-Man films -- widely credited with cementing the blockbuster dominance of comic-book superhero films at the turn of the century. While there's no telling exactly what sort of story Raimi is looking tell using The First 100 Years' theoretical template, it will likely also mark his first stab at a narrative concerning "realistic" global politics, which also renders it unclear how any studio hopes to market such a film to global audiences: Will international moviegoers want to turn out for a film depicting their respective countries as dramatically changed or made the villains of a third World War?
In the meantime, Raimi's producer plate remains full, with a second season of he and partner Rob Tapert's hit Starz series Ash Vs. Evil Dead in the pipeline and a reboot of their cult-hit '90s series Xena: Warrior Princess gathering steam as well.
Screen Rant will update you on World War III as news is made available.
Source: Coming Soon
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