Here’s one we’re hoping makes it to the screen – and works: Paramount has snapped up the rights to John Scalzi’s sci-fi novel Old Man’s War, with Wolfgang Petersen attached to direct and David Self on script duties.
Scalzi’s novel – the first in a series of four so far – was originally published back in 2005, though the author actually put it out himself online before that. It follows the adventures of soldier John Perry, who, after his wife dies when he’s 75, agrees to sign up for the Colonial Defence Forces. In exchange for his service and the fact he’ll never return to Earth, his consciousness is uploaded into a healthy, augmented new body and he’s sent off to battle a variety of alien forces caught up in a territorial scramble for the available planets of the galaxy.
The books have been favourably compared with the likes of Robert Heinlein (Scalzi has talked about his appreciation for the writer’s work) and Joe Haldeman (he of The Forever War), and offer both intriguing concepts and great characters.
“I’m very happy with the team putting it together,” the writer said on his site when the news broke over at Deadline. “I’ve been an admirer of Wolfgang Petersen’s for a long time now, both as a director and as someone whose films do great business here and abroad, and I think he’s a very good fit for Old Man’s War. Screenwriter David Self has done some great work adapting material [see: The Road to Perdition], so I was very happy to hear he was operating on my work. I’m also very pleased to be at Paramount, who knows their way around making, marketing and distributing very large science fiction and adventure films. Basically, a good fit all the way around."
As noted, Self has done some solid scripting work and while Petersen’s last film was the waterlogged Poseidon, he’s had better luck with military movies, including the ace Das Boot.