Wolfgang Petersen Set to Helm Adaptation of 'Old Man's War' Novel

February 23, 2011
Source: Deadline

Old Man's War / Wolfgang Petersen

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?

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Reader Feedback - 8 Comments


The story actually sees the man trading in his old boy for a younger, genetically enhanced one that allows him to use his decades of experience combined with dexterity, agility and youth. BODY. He trades his old body.

Anonymous on Feb 23, 2011


Read the first book, which was pretty good, there is a surprising amount of sex, could make a good movie

Staatz on Feb 24, 2011


Fantastic. I've been waiting years for them to make this into a movie. Hopefully it's a faithful adaptation because the book really deserves it.

Anonymous on Feb 24, 2011


Sounds amazing!

Commanderzmaster on Feb 24, 2011


Yeah it's sort of like avatar meets starship troopers, kinda has that feel a bit. I certainly enjoyed the book and hope the movie goes well.

hata on Feb 24, 2011


don't forget that, as well as now much older classics like Das Boot, Petersen is also responsible for In The Line Of Fire, which remains a great thriller, with a fantastic Eastwood / Malkovich face off. don't know this book, but the combination sounds good. colour me hopeful.

Anonymous on Feb 25, 2011


Was a great book, could make a great movie...if done well.

az on Feb 25, 2011


not bad

A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018

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