Blade Runner Writer Handling Forever War Script For Ridley Scott
UPDATE: Deadline is claiming that Peoples' work on the script happened a while ago, and the writer currently in charge is Matthew Michael Carnahan. Don't assume this means they won't sell the movie as "from the people who brought you Blade Runner, though.
Ridley Scott has been planning an adaptation of Joe Haldeman's classic sci-fi novel Forever War at least since October 2008, which is back when Body of Lies came out and disappointed us all so much. The whole project hadn't gone much further than Ridley just talking about it, as he jumped from there directly into making Robin Hood, and so far as we know there's no reason to believe production will start any time soon.
But there is one little bit of new information to pore over. Haldeman himself has revealed via, of all things, his LiveJournal account, that screenwriter David Webb Peoples is handling the latest draft, which apparently in its fourth rewriter. Haldeman mentioned Unforgiven as one of Peoples' solid credits, but sci-fi fans are probably more interested in the fact that he wrote Blade Runner for Scott, and also Twelve Monkeys for Terry Gilliam. The guy's got the kind of credentials that might convince even the most hardcore Forever War fans.
Still, a fourth rewrite is not a great sign, and Scott has plenty else on his plate-- including the Alien prequel-- to keep him ignoring this one for many more years to come. But now that the world at large is aware that Peoples is writing the script, could some fan enthusiasm get the gears cranking on this one a little faster? Probably not, but we'll just pretend we had an impact anyway.
The Forever War, for those of you who aren't hardcore sci-fi nerds, is Haldeman's 1974 novel about a soldier recruited in an ongoing intergalactic battle who then returns home to find time has elapsed more quickly on Earth, and he's aged only a year while the world has moved on 25 years without him. The book won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Awards, a pretty mean feat, and Scott himself has described it as "The Odyssey by way of Blade Runner." It's precisely the kind of epic and serious story that deserves to be told, particularly by the people who brought you Blade Runner. Sadly, just because it's meant to be doesn't mean it'll ever actually happen.
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