Marc Forster Feels The Red Rising

He'll direct the Mars-set thriller

Following the troubled production and surprising success of World War Z, Marc Forster has found his next directing gig. He'll be behind the camera for an adaptation of Pierce Brown's recent novel Red Rising. Brown wrote the screenplay himself, and Joe Roth (Alice In Wonderland, Oz The Great And Powerful) is among the producers.

The novel is a sci-fi action film set on Mars, at a time when it's been colonised by humans, apparently due to the impending death of Earth. Sixteen-year-old Darrow is a "Helldiver", one of the miners - the "Red" caste - who live a bleak existence below the surface, doing the desperately hard work required for the terraforming project.

The ruling class on the surface are "Golds", but the social order is destined for a shake-up when Darrow discovers his life is premised on a lie. Disguised as a Gold, Darrow sets out to infiltrate Mars' corrupt government and discover the truth. The extent of his success has yet to be revealed, since Red Rising is the first and so far only instalment in a planned trilogy.

Comparisons to The Hunger Games are already rife, since the Golds are fond of hosting sadistic contests to keep the Reds in check. There could also be a spot of Elysium in the thrust of the story's redistribution-of-power plot, and there's obviously some superficial Total Recall resemblance in the Mars setting.

But even if some of the tropes are familiar, the film should be good for some brand new thrills and spectacle, and Forster has certainly demonstrated his action chops on World War Z and Quantum Of Solace.

Two unidentified studios are collaborating to get the film up and running; Deadline believes that ongoing bad feeling from WWZ means Paramount is unlikely to be one of them. The deals are currently being done, so there should be more information soon.

Brown's novel was published last month in the UK by Hodder.