Ridley Scott is now up to the fourth script draft of The Forever War, an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s classic sci-fi novel. We already knew Scott was lining the project up and that, inspired by Avatar, he was planning to do it in 3D and with a healthy dose of performance capture. What’s new is the name of the writer currently beavering away on the screenplay.
It’s turned out to be none other David Peoples, a writer on Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys and Unforgiven. Not to put too fine a point on it, he’s fantastically talented.
Scott has a script; last I heard, it was the fourth rewrite. I’ve talked to the writer — he has good credits, like Unforgiven.
I’m not among the people who assume that the novel will be desecrated by the movie. It will be interesting to see somebody else’s take on it. Incidentally, I wasn’t asked to submit a screenplay, though I’ve been a member of the Writers Guild for almost thirty years and have solid production credits.
No surprise. They don’t want the book’s author saying “Hold it! I wrote the book, and that’s not the way it goes.”
And nor should they worry about that. Getting the film right is what’s important. I would sincerely hope that David Peoples is more than capable of doing that. It’s a good project for Scott too, with his aptitude towards building complete and coherent worlds. Here’s a little bit of a summart of the book from Bookrags:
[The] classic science fiction story of William Mandella, a man who is in the top percentile of the world as far as intelligence, education, and physical fitness. As a result, he is included in the elite group of people conscripted into the united armed services of the world to battle the unknown and elusive Tauran aliens.
Although this war spans over a millennium, Mandella unwittingly sees it through from beginning to end due to the time differential created by travel through constantly evolving wormholes. Not only is The Forever War an intense, mind-bending space chronicle, it is also a social commentary regarding war, politics, and how executive decisions affect civilians and military personnel alike.
Note that Haldeman didn’t clearly indicate if People has written all four drafts, or has simply joined the project somewhere along the line.
Scott has several other films in the pipeline – an adaptation of The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo Di Caprio and his Alien prequel or prequels seemingly at the front of the queue. There’s no indication which will move ahead first.