Joe Haldeman’s acclaimed sci-fi novel The Forever War has stirred up a bidding, erm, war between Sony, Warner Bros. and an undisclosed third studio in a race to secure the rights to push ahead with a feature adaptation.
21 Jump Street star Channing Tatum is currently attached to the nascent project, which would see him star as William Mandela, “a young man assigned to a military task force in the war against the Taurans.” Similar to the likes of Edge of Tomorrow and other genre pieces, Haldeman’s novel witnesses humanity lock horns with an alien race in a battle that will seemingly rage in perpetuity – written in 1974, the scribe’s work was intended as an analogy for the Vietnam War. It proved to be an instant success, garnering praise from genre fans and being awarded with the Nebula, Locus and Hugo prizes.
The Forever War has flirted with the silver screen in the past, with Ridley Scott first acquiring the rights for a feature film back in 2008. Since then, the would-be blockbuster has simmered in development, though there is now renewed interest in fulfilling the promise of Haldeman’s sci-fi source material. Deadline reports that Jon Spaihts is also involved, who helped pen screenplays for some of Scott’s work, including Prometheus. With Tatum set to assume the role of producer, too, it’s understood that Passengers alum Roy Lee will help shepherd the project to the starting line.
Ultimately, this competitive bidding war is evidence of a renewed interest in gritty science-fiction among Hollywood studios. Much like the success story of Ruiari Robinson’s The Leviathan, there are a great many projects to be excited about in the genre over the next few years. Is The Forever War to be one of them?