Wolfgang Petersen Set to Helm Adaptation of 'Old Man's War' Novel
Though he hasn't directed a film since 2006's Poseidon (a film disastrous in both plot and execution), director Wolfgang Petersen has still been linked to projects like Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots as recently as last summer. Now the filmmaker has another one in his future as Deadline reports Paramount Pictures has bought the screen rights to John Scalzi's sci-fi novel Old Man's War, the first in a four book series. All of the books were included in the deal with Petersen attached to direct from a script by David Self (Road to Perdition). Though unlike most big sci-fi projects, this one features a 75-year old man who enlists in the Colonial Defense Force.
However, it's not like we're going to see a geriatric fighting in space. The story actually sees the man trading in his old body for a younger, genetically enhanced one that allows him to use his decades of experience combined with dexterity, agility and youth. Those entering the program agree to leave their past lives on earth behind, and are promised land on distant human colonies if they live. Injured in battle, he’s rescued by a special-forces officer who seems to be a younger version of his wife. She doesn’t recognize him, but he’s so convinced he has another chance with her that he abandons his unit and risks everything to be with her. Sounds pretty damn epic.
Though Poseidon and his 5-year absence from the directing game doesn't inspire much confidence, Petersen's past work with flicks like Air Force One, Outbreak and The Perfect Storm still keep him credible. This sounds like it has the potential to be a great sci-fi action flick, and while it would be great if this were an original idea, the source material sounds like a good foundation for a film. And if all goes well, we may even be in line for a franchise from The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony and Zoe's Tale, the remaining books in the series.. Sound good?