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Sci-Fi Classic ‘The Forever War’ Being Adapted For Ridley Scott

The Forever War Cover

After making a real stinker with Robin Hood, veteran director Ridley Scott seemed to get some of his mojo back by revisiting his Alien roots with his most recent film, Prometheus. Script problems aside, that movie had quite a bit going for it, not the least of which were a couple strong performances and a load of jaw-dropping visuals. So why not try to keep a good thing going by sticking to the sci-fi genre?

To that end, Fox 2000 has optioned a classic sci-fi novel for the director to bring to the big screen. According to Deadline, the studio has hired Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters scribe Dante Harper to adapt Joe Haldeman’s Nebula- and Hugo-winning 1974 novel “The Forever War.” Scott himself describes the book as being, “a science-fiction epic, a bit of ‘The Odyssey’ by way of Blade Runner, built on a brilliant, disorienting premise.”

Disorienting premise? What does that mean? Let’s turn to the book’s Amazon description to try and get a better idea. It reads as follows: “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…”

Okay, so maybe that doesn’t give us much more of an understanding of what this movie is going to be about, but it at least gives us an indication of how deep this rabbit hole goes. Intergalactic war, time-bending travels…it sounds like this one should give Scott quite a bit to chew on. Let’s just hope that Harper gives him a head start by fitting all of this high-minded sci-fi weirdness into a coherent screenplay. Perhaps we’ll all have a better idea of what to expect once we check out Hansel and Gretel. It seems like that one was a pretty faithful adaptation of the original fairy tale, right?

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at templeofreviews.com

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