Ridley Scott Teams with 'All You Need is Kill' Writer for 'Forever War'

November 27, 2012

Forever War

When Ridley Scott signed on to direct Prometheus, it was a surprise not only because he swooped in and essentially took the gig from 47 Ronin director Carl Erik Rinsch, but also because we thought his return to science fiction would be an adaptation of Joe Haldeman's 1974 novel The Forever War. Scott has wanted to direct the film for more than 25 years and finally optioned the property in 2008, but when the opportunity arose to direct Prometheus, he put this one on hold. Now, he's goingforward with it again, and Deadline reports that he has All You Need Is Kill screenwriter Dante Harper on board to write a new draft.

The story follows a soldier who battles an enemy in deep space for only a few months, only to return home to a planet he doesn't recognize some 20 years later. Apparently the war he was fighting took 700 years, but he aged only 10 during that same time. Scott has called it a "brilliant, disorienting premise" and after chasing down the material for a quarter century, the man is obviously incredibly passionate about bringing this story to the screen.

Harper is far from the first scribe to try his hand at adapting this material. David Peoples took a crack at it, and then the next day, Joe Carnahan's brother Matthew Carnahan (who actually wrote the upcoming World War Z) was brought on to give it a whirl. Things have quieted down a bit since then, with Scott moving on to Prometheus and Cormac McCarthy's The Counselor.

Harper definitely has science fiction experience, but he's also responsible for the long-delayed Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters which could end up being disastrous, so he's ultimately a question mark when it comes to proven storytelling talent. While talks of a Prometheus sequel continue to whisper through the interwebs, we're hoping that The Forever War gets adapted before Scott heads back to the Blade Runner universe or tries to connect the dots again with his Alien franchise.

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  • This is great news, really, if true. I first read the novel thirty years ago, and again last year. One of the best sci-fi stories...ever.
    • Scopedog
      The novel is one of my favorite SF books, and it still holds up (first read it 17 years ago). If you can you should read AYNIK--while it was published in Japanese, the English translation has been around since 2008.
  • Bobo_Vision
    Both of those are horrible movie titles which will ultimately kill the success of those films regardless of their quality or lack thereof.
    • Cody W
      Seriously? like your not kidding?
      • Bobo_Vision
        I'm not joking. A bad movie title can sink a decent movie. And those titles are stinkers. All you need is kill? Flipping the title of a Beatles song and changing love to kill? That's gonna bomb. And Forever War....changing the word Love to War. That's gonna bomb, too. There will be die-hard geeks who will masturbate while watching them and fight until the wee hours of the night defending them on message boards until the Cheeto crumbs dry up under their fingernails....but that won't change their box office failure.
          I love it when people who don't work in the movie biz, start telling everyone about the movie biz. Bobo, you are wrong on so many levels, it's not even funny.
        • Cody W
          Didnt realize you have a time machine, ya shallow moron.
          • Bobo_Vision
            LOL. You're an idiot. None of the movies discussed at movie news websites have been released...that doesn't mean we can't have opinions about them. The fact that you are taking this personally by responding with personal attacks because of my opinion means that you are personally invested in this news, or in sci-fi in general, and my comment has stirred up your Asperger's. Listen, tubby, go get a gym membership, cut out the fried foods, and get a life.
          • Cody W
            Lol you love using that aspergers insult, along with being a hypocritic as you personally insulted someone first a mere 60 seconds before responding to my post, then to go and try and personally insult me while ranting about personal insults....O what am I doing your a moron or a troll and if thats the case your successful.
          • Jericho
            i always wondered if BoBo is that moron that keeps changing his name so it seems like there is more than one person on this site that hates everything for attention.....
        • Scopedog
          The f$*%....for a moment, I thought I was reading a comment from an AICN talkback....
    • Scopedog
      Man, you've got to be joking. Either that, or you're one cynical dude....
      So you can see the future? You know this for a fact?
  • syntaxterror
    The Forever War has a big following and is a book I've planned to read for awhile... looks like it'll have to be sooner than later. It's great to see more scifi being treated towards the big screen and Ridley has the backing to do something like this right. I hope it is received well so we can see some more epic scifi going to the big screen and not b-graded to the SyFy channel 😀
    • beevis
      it's ridley scott - i doubt we'll get "SyFy channel"
      • syntaxterror
        I didn't say this movie will be SyFy channel... read my post, silly
        • beevis
          i re-read your last sentence - it sounds like your saying that you HOPE scotts movie is liked so more sci-fi hits the big screen instead of being syfy fair...that SOUNDS like your saying that if his film isn't well-received, it would be considered syfy material and future similar films would be downgraded to syfy because of RS film. if this isn't what you meant - then it's my mistake - however, if you didn't mean this....WHAT does that last sentence mean?
          • Bobo_Vision
            Maybe you should read more books instead of watching cartoons all day. Now you want commenters to teach you reading comprehension?
          • beevis
            bobo, i'm an OSU grad - a 48 year-old semi-retired psychiatrist with a library of books that probably dwarfs your ENTIRE living space. my books range from sci-fi to fantasy.....military history to psychology, philosophy, archaeology and even some cooking - just what books do you read? god, your an idiot.
          • beevis
            bobo, are you so dense that you can't remember what you questioned me about? you were asking about my book reading and reading comprehension. as far as my work - there is NOTHING i could say to you that would satisfy you in any way. you've shown yourself to be rude, insulting and negative in every post you make. i really hope alex bans you from the site. i'm done with you.
          • David Banner
            I got a txt from a friend that you were at it again, "flaunting your stuff like a boss-peacock", lol. *Brb, Getting popcorn*
          • syntaxterror
            "I hope it is received well so we can see some more epic scifi going to the big screen and not b-graded to the SyFy channel" pretty much says it right there: if Ridley's scifi movies can bring more power behind these genres, then we'll get more scifi being made for the big screen instead of all that junk being made for SyFY and the like. Didn't think it was that complicated a sentence to get through.... but oh well.
          • beevis
            not complicated - just more convoluted than need be.' thanks for the response.
  • Scopedog
    You first.
  • Xerxexx
    I still love you Ridley!
    • beevis
      me too!
  • beevis
    out of respect for alex wishes, i'm not going to respond to your nonsense
    • beevis
      alex, can't you ban this moron?
  • Richie G
    wow, love the crazies in the comment section. You say he returns home after 20 years and that the war went on for 700. Is there a typo there? I haven't read the book, but I can spot the commentary on war vets and shell shock. Love when scifi grounds itself in real issues. I'll have to pick up the novel. Also I thought Scott was adapting Brave New World next. Thats probably very old news
    • Scopedog
      Read it. It is a commentary on vets and war, since Haldeman was a Vietnam vet. Ironically, it was the "Vietnam in the future" vibe that nearly prevented the book from being published.
  • Lagoya
    The Forever War is a fantastic book! I'm quite excited for this. Plus we also have Enders Game coming out too, I'm glad to see these classic novels getting the attention they deserve. Although no sci-fi book will ever, ever top Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Ever! Once that gets the big budget movie treatment it will put Star Wars to shame.
    • Jericho
      please dont say that about Hyperion putting star wars to shame...everyone said John Carter would do that so lets just hold off to avoid jinxing.....
  • Space jockey
    He should do the sequel to Prometheus now! Get on with Paradise




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