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Ironically, Poseidon almost sank Wolfgang Petersen’s career. That hardly seemed likely at time, since the director has multiple hits on his resume, from In the Line of Fire and The Perfect Storm to Air Force One. But Petersen has hasn’t made a film since his 2006 remake of The Poseidon Adventure sank at the box office, so it’s encouraging to hear that he’s found a project and recently hired a promising screenwriter to help him whip it into shape.

Variety says that playwright and emerging scripter Chris Boal has been hired to rewrite the current draft of Old Man’s War for Petersen to produce and direct. Set in a distant future, the story – based on John Scalzi’s science-fiction novel – follows a 75-year-old man who volunteers for a military process that trades his beaten-up and decrepit body for a genetically-enhanced body that allows him to join the current military fight in outer space. When he’s injured in battle, he meets a young woman who he believes to be a reincarnation of his wife … so he abandons his post and fights to be with her.

Old Man’s War has been set up at Paramount, and the studio must have its eye on a potential franchise, as Scalzi has penned three subsequent books in the series: The Ghost Bridages, The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale. If Petersen can launch the series with War, Paramount could be sitting on a massive sci-fi franchise with big-ticket dreams.

Boal, meanwhile, has screenwriting in his blood. His brother, Mark Boal, won the Oscar for writing Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker back in 2008. The pair will reunite for Zero Dark Thirty later this year.