Ridley Scott's Return to Sci-Fi is Actually The Forever War

October 13, 2008

Ridley Scott - The Forever War

This news definitely came out of nowhere! The legendary Ridley Scott, known for saying "sci-fi films are as dead as westerns", is apparently back with not one, but two sci-fi projects. Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to Joe Haldeman's 1974 novel "The Forever War" and has Ridley Scott attached to direct. Scott's future has become one hell of a mess with this announcement and even I'm left scratching my head in confusion. Variety claims that this adaptation of "The Forever War" was meant to be Ridley's follow-up to Alien (in 1979) and Blade Runner (in 1982). For the last few months we've been reporting that an adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World would be his sci-fi return, but apparently we were wrong!

The Forever WarIn a previous interview in June, Ridley revealed that he was planning to return to sci-fi. "I am going to do one. I waited for a book for 20 years and I have got the book." A few days later, the news hit about Huxley's Brave New World, and we put two-and-two together and thought Brave New World was the book he was talking about. But Variety now says "rights complications delayed his plans for more than two decades" surrounding "The Forever War." Which would make this the film he was talking about at that time. Does all that make any sense? This just goes to show how information can get quite convoluted, but according to Variety, Scott plans to direct "The Forever War" before he gets to "Brave New World."

"I first pursued 'Forever War' 25 years ago, and the book has only grown more timely and relevant since," Scott told Variety. "It's a science-fiction epic, a bit of The Odyssey by way of Blade Runner, built upon a brilliant, disorienting premise." That premise that he speaks of revolves around 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. "Haldeman originally wrote this novel as an allegory of the Vietnam war, told through the eyes of a reluctant soldier caught up in a battle that never seemed to end, while the world he left behind changed drastically," says a reviewer on Amazon. Apparently the war he is fighting in lasts 700 years, while he only ages 10. Very interesting concept. No screenwriter for this adaptation has been announced yet.

Variety's listing of Ridley Scott's other upcoming projects includes a confirmation that Nottingham is still his next big directing gig. But they never mention Brave New World at all, which really makes me wonder whether or not that project will ever see the light of day (at least for quite a few years). We just wrote a recent update on it last week with some current quotes from Scott, which is why this is all a bit confusing. But if "The Forever War" is indeed his next sci-fi project, then I'm not concerned at all, because as beloved as Huxley's "Brave New World" is, I love the concept for "The Forever War" just a bit more. And no matter he chooses, I'm excited for Ridley Scott's return to science fiction anyway.

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"I'm excited for Ridley Scott's return to science fiction" me too. finally. It's gonna be great. We need another masterpiece by this man; It's been a while.

Mario Tenorio on Oct 13, 2008


Good. This sounds like a really interesting project whereas "Brave New World" just left me cold. I never really enjoyed that book, and when you previously reported this, I tried to give it another go. I didn't get very far before I gave up, just being totally uninspired by the writing. I'd vaguely heard of the Forever War comic version, but had never before come across the original book. Click. Just ordered it. Thanks.

Dr.Duvel on Oct 13, 2008


That's incredible. I always hoped that the Forever War would be made into a movie. A fantastic book.

slappy on Oct 13, 2008


I knew you were wrong.

Nick O. on Oct 13, 2008


Reminds me of Planet of the Apes.

Ryan on Oct 13, 2008


The Forever War is a great book. So is Forever Free and Forever Peace. Alex, one note. The war lasts longer than 700 years.

Film-Book dot Com on Oct 13, 2008


Ryan, I thought the same thing. I know it has nothing to do with it, but the whole person goes away for years and when he comes back his world is completely changes thing, reminded me of Planet of the Apes right away.

Alfredo on Oct 13, 2008


I love Ridley Scott as an artist, but really, he hasn't done anything great since Gladiator in 2000.

avoidz on Oct 14, 2008


The soldier in that second book cover kind of looks like James Franco.

Zach D. on Oct 14, 2008


Number 9! I totally agree!!!

Conrad on Oct 14, 2008


This is awesome news. The book is great, and I'm sure Ridley Scott's vision and directorial abilities will really bring it to life.

Fritz Blaze on Oct 14, 2008


Please, please, please, let's not have this film spoiled by too-well-known actors. The Forever War is a story bursting with sublime inspiration. Forged from Joe Haldeman's experience’s in the Vietnam war, the Author of this work has fashioned a most precious and deeply humane tale. The essence of this material must be treated with care. Ridley Scott has my blessing with knobs-on, but I’m worried that the budget people will want a big name…What’s wrong with that? The characters of this story need no preconceived boost from familiar faces. Joe’s narrative gives us the opportunity to bring on new people - a bit like Star Wars - people who haven’t had their break yet. I am completely excited that this is happening in my lifetime. All I wish for is that Ridley Scott has the insight to want Joe Haldeman on the team. Joe has written many things since which all have his unique stamp. His skill in bringing those wonderful and often shocking human traits into futuristic and utterly believable realms, has inspired countless people - me included. Grant Wyness

Grant Wyness on Oct 16, 2008


Hope they take under consideration comic version of Forever War. This vision was briliant, Marvano did great job and I can't imagine picture different than this one.

David Mleczko on Jan 26, 2009


Scott has made a new genre in filmmaking by doing Alien, an set the standard for the next 30 years of Scifi movies by doing Blade Runner. This man has achieved more than any other director in the history of filmmaking, I believe, in doing these two movies. I am happy he returns to the Genre, however, having seen most of his other movies he did afterwards, I don't set my hopes too high. There is no need for that. This man has proved himself. I don't believe he will do better than he already did. No doubt it will be good movies, but once he changed the world, I don't believe the same person can change the world again.

Peter T'Sas on Aug 7, 2009

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