Old Man’s War Gets New Young Man Screenwriter

By Nick Venable | 9 years ago


Whether you’re a fan of award-winning sci-fi novels, or blockbuster action films, this news should grant you some peace. John Scalzi’s 2005 Hugo Award-winning novel Old Man’s War has a new scribe, playwright Chris Boal. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the brother of Mark Boal, the Acadamy Award-winning screenwriter of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker.

Variety reports that Boal began making a name for himself in the screenwriting world last summer with a pair of script sales: one is a Viking drama that’s being produced by True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard, and the other is a drama about Julius Caesar. He also directed and produced the behind-the-scenes content for the DVD release of his brother’s flick, The Hurt Locker. Hooray for nepotism!

Boal will be taking over the Old Man’s War script that originated back in February 2011, with screenwriter David Self handling the initial adaptation. Wolfgang Petersen is in the director’s chair, marking the first feature film he’s helmed since 2006’s Poseidon. One of the last projects he was in talks for was an adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, now in Gavin Hood’s hands, so at least he’s sticking to the same genre.

Old Man’s War tells the story of 75-year-old John Perry, a retired ad writer who agrees to transplant his mind into a souped-up younger body (think Avatar). A widower, Perry joins a section of the military that protects human colonists on other planets. A few giant alien battles later, he meets a woman who strongly reminds him of his long-deceased wife, and is determined to sacrifice everything to be with her. Such love stories, especially when framed by interplanetary war, are often shortsighted when making the transition from page to screen, and I hope this isn’t the case here.