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It would appear that Channing Tatum has added yet another project to his ever-growing upcoming slate, and it sounds as though plenty of studios want to join up with him for it. Tatum is now attached to star in an adaptation of author Joe Haldeman’s sci-fi novel The Forever War, and with development well under-way, both Warner Bros. and Sony are eagerly hoping to be in business with it.
Tatum is now set to star in the could-be blockbuster, which is currently being scribed by Prometheus and Doctor Strange screenwriter Jon Spaihts. With this esteemed duo already involved it’s safe to say that The Forever War has got off to a pretty good start, and an A-list director is almost certainly going to join the pair on the project. However The Forever War’s reputation was already pretty stellar as it’s widely regarded as one of the best sci-fi stories ever written, and soon after its initial release in 1974 it claimed the Nebula, Hugo, and Lotus awards.
According to Deadline, Sony and Warner Bros. are dueling over who gets to finance the project. It’s believed that Warner Bros. are currently closest to finalizing a deal for The Forever War, though a source insists that Sony is still in the game and in talks with Tatum’s company. Both studios are hugely keen because of the franchise potential in the material, especially since HaldemanThe Forever War was subsequently followed by 1997’s Forever Peace and 1999’s Forever Free.
The Forever War revolves around an interstellar war between man and the Taurans, an alien species that suddenly attacked human colonists’ ships. Obviously, earthlings weren’t going to stand for such acts of unprovoked violence, and soon responded to this act of barbarity. The Forever War follows the conscripted William Mandella through his grueling training session, which at first takes place on Earth then proceeds to an alien planet beyond Pluto - before we then see him traveling onto different planets to battle the Taurans.
Halderman’s tale wasn’t a straightforward action-packed narrative, though, as it was also an analogy for the Vietnam War. Halderman included numerous traits from his own experience in south-east Asia in the story, and, in fact, The Forever War’s protagonist’s surname, Mandella, is a near-anagram of his last name. Meanwhile, the lead female character is named after Halderman’s wife. There are also links to the reception given to US troops once they returned home from Vietnam, and the endless nature of the war with the Taurans is also a clear reference to the perceived monotony of the conflict in the mid-70s.
All in all, it sounds like ripe stuff. Plus, it’s good to see that Channing Tatum hasn’t been put-off the sci-fi genre despite the disappointing performance of the hugely entertaining Jupiter Ascending at the box office. We’ll next see the muscle-bound actor in this summer’s Magic Mike XXL, while he’s currently putting the finishing touches to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar!