Much was made of Ridley Scott’s return to big-screen science fiction with this past summer’s Prometheus, and while that film disappointed many, I still believe Ridley has another truly epic SF movie in him, if given the right script. Many of Prometheus’ problems originated in the script, both the Lindelof version and the earlier Alien: Engineers draft by Jon Spaihts. Another promising project on the horizon for Scott is an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s Hugo- and Nebula-winning The Forever War, and now the project has hired writer D.W. Harper to pen another draft of the script.
So, who is this Harper dude? With a background as a post-production supervisor, he has been breaking out as a screenwriter with several recent projects. He’s obviously got a knack for science fiction, because he wrote the upcoming Tom Cruise flick All You Need Is Kill (which is basically a serious, SF version of Groundhog Day). He was also attached to adapt Isaac Asimov’s Foundation for Roland Emmerich, as well as an SF movie called Forever for Monsters director Gareth Edwards. Not a bad resume at all to be tackling one of the genre’s classic bits of literature.
First published in 1974, The Forever War is about a soldier in a future war against an alien species who suffers the negative effects of time dilation: while he experiences fighting in the war for a relatively short time, by the time he returns home centuries have passed on Earth. Here’s how Ridley Scott described the book to Deadline back when he acquired the rights to the book back in 2008: “[It’s] a science-fiction epic, a bit of ‘The Odyssey’ by way of ‘Blade Runner,’ built on a brilliant, disorienting premise.”