Chris Boal Re-Writing Old Man's War

Wolfgang Petersen still attached

Back in February 2011, Paramount slapped down the cash for the rights to John Scalzi’s science fiction novel Old Man’s War. We’ve been monitoring this one with interest, not least because Scalzi’s canon is something of a favourite over in Empire’s LA office. Road To Perdition’s David Self had been writing the adaptation for Wolfgang Petersen, but now it’s been passed to Chris Boal.

Old Man’s War is tale of John Perry, a 75-year-old who enlists in the colonial defence forces after agreeing to serve alongside his wife, who's 65. 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.

Scalzi’s work has drawn favourable comparisons to Robert Heinlein and Joe Halderman (think The Forever War), and scored a Hugo nomination in 2006.

Boal, the brother of Hurt Locker / Zero Dark Thirty’s Mark, has mostly worked as a playwright, though he’s in development on two scripts for Warner Bros. One is about Julius Caesar that has Jonathan Liebesman attached to direct and another called The Vanguard that boasts Alexander Skarsgard in the lead.

Writing on his long-running blog Whatever, Scalzi seems happy with the new development: “Before you ask, yes, it’s fairly normal to have one writer do rewrites on a script another has done a first pass on, and yes, it’s a good thing for the movie, since they wouldn’t have someone doing rewrites if they weren’t continuing to be interested in developing the film (because, you know, rewrites cost money). So this is all pretty good news for those of you who want to see OMW on the silver screen.” Our fingers remain crossed.