If you’re a science fiction fan, John Scalzi is probably no stranger. He’s a talented writer, has a unit of measurement named after him, and generally hangs out with old men and androids. It’s a charmed but difficult life, I’m sure.
The good news of the day is that movie rights to his novel series “Old Man’s War” (which ostensibly includes “The Last Colony” and “Zoe’s War”) have been sold to Paramount. Unlike some novel rights news, this bit comes with a director attached in the form of Wolfgang Petersen. It also comes with a screenwriter attached in the form of David Self. Petersen is a veteran with a lot of big budget material under his belt, although he’s looking for some redemption for Poseidon. Self will probably be angling for a little redemption as well since he worked on Wolfman, but Road to Perdition is as smart a script as you could hope for. With these two kicking things off, Old Man’s War might be the start of a great new sci-fi trilogy.
The story focuses on John Perry who, at the age of 75, joins the Colonial Defense Forces and has his mind transferred into a genetically enhanced body based on his DNA. The similarities between Scalzi’s work and Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” is remarkable, but with Petersen at the helm, it’s doubtful that a movie version will stray into square-jawed parody. Actually, it might. You never know.
Scalzi had this to say about the project:
Yes, I’m very happy with the team putting it together. I’ve been an admirer of Wolfgang Petersen’s for a long time now, both as a director and as someone whose films do great business here and abroad, and I think he’s a very good fit for Old Man’s War. Scott Stuber is likewise a very smart and savvy producer, and someone who knows how to shepherd a film through the process right to the big screen. Screenwriter David Self has done some great work adapting material (see: The Road to Perdition), so I was very happy to hear he was operating on my work. I’m also very pleased to be at Paramount, who knows their way around making, marketing and distributing very large science fiction and adventure films. Basically, a good fit all the way around.
He also level-headedly went on to remind his fans that the movie won’t be a carbon copy of the book.
This sounds like an exciting project that truly taps into one of the better series in the science fiction world, and it’s about time that Scalzi see some big screen love for his work.
Fingers are crossed, and all systems are go.
What say you?
Source: Deadline Edmonton