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John Scalzi's Old Man's War Novels Head To Syfy With Troy's Wolfgang Petersen

I don’t know about all science fiction fans, but I’m blown away by how many scripted genre projects Syfy is bringing to the development table. The effectiveness of the final products remains to be seen, but the network continues to aim high by adding to its slate John Scalzi’s Hugo Award-nominated Old Man’s War and its sequel novels. I will gladly pay upwards of $11-$14 towards the cause of changing the network’s name back to Sci-Fi Channel by the time 2015 rolls around.

Going by the name Ghost Brigades – the follow-up to Old Man’s War – this project will be overseen by Troy and Das Boot director Wolfgang Petersen and producer Scott Stuber, known for big Hollywood fare like Ted and Battleship. Petersen has been connected to this series since 2011, when Paramount acquired the rights to the novels and tapped the esteemed filmmaker to direct. That iteration of Old Man’s War fizzled out after screenwriter changes, and here we are. Given Scalzi’s storytelling skills, a TV series is a much more suitable way for his novels to reach wider audiences, so here’s hoping Syfy and the creative team can make it happen.

At this point, that team consists of the largely untested screenwriters Jake Thornton and Ben Lustig, who will pen the first Ghost Brigades script, according to THR. Lustig co-wrote the lackluster 2006 horror The Thirst before joining Thornton for the action horror short Blood Soldiers: Interrogation, which the latter directed. You can check it out in its entirety below, and it’s worth considering that Thornton may end up directing one or more of these episodes if it turns into a fully realized series.

Ghost Brigades takes place in a future where people can upload their consciousness and memories into bodies that are younger, to allow for better fleets of soldiers to fight in cosmic wars. John Perry is one such 75-year-old man who finds himself young again, at least on a physical level, when he joins the Colonial Defense Force for a potentially endless series of space battles. However, he soon finds himself enamored with an alluring woman, a relationship that isn’t helped along by a massive conspiracy involving the mysterious titular group.

Should it make it to series, Ghost Brigades will fit in extremely well with Syfy’s upcoming lineup, including fellow novel adaptation The Expanse and space-based series Ascension, Letter 44 and Blake’s 7. We’ll definitely have more about this developing project as soon as we get word from Beta Pyxis III.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.