The Last Sci-Fi Blog: Where the Heck Is Our 'The Forever War' Movie?

The Last Sci-Fi Blog: Where the Heck Is Our 'The Forever War' Movie?

Apr 12, 2012

The Sci-Fi News: 'Ender's Game' Moves, 'The Host' Gets a Poster and 'Pacific Rim' Transforms Toronto

It's not uncommon for a movie's release date to change, but it's rarer to see a film's release date shift eight months. Such is the case with Gavin Hood's currently filming adaptation of Ender's Game, which was originally scheduled for a March 15, 2013 release but will now hit theaters on November 1, 2013. For fans of Orson Scott Card's classic novel (which is rightfully one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written), that means that an eleven month wait just became a nineteen month wait. There are a number of reasons that changes like this occur: The studio may have more faith in the film's success during the winter instead of the spring, the film's effects will need extra time to get right, etc. In any case, this isn't good news or bad news, but just plain 'ol news.

I can't say I know anything about Andrew Niccol's The Host, but in a week nearly devoid of cool science fiction news, I suppose I'll have to make do with news about a film based on a novel written by the woman who wrote the Twilight series. Anyway, that big image to the left of this paragraph is the poster for The Host, which is "…a riveting story about the survival of love and the human spirit in the time of war." The full plot description sounds sinfully similar to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but I'm pretty sure this version will have more kissing and forlorn staring. Niccol has been great (Gattaca) and he's been terrible (In Time), which means that the final result here is a genuine grab bag.

We don't know too much yet about Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming Pacific Rim, but we do know that it's about a future where Idris Elbra uses giant robots to battle massive sea monsters. Honestly? That's all anyone needs to know. Ever. Forget geometry. Forget world history. This. This is it. Anyway, Del Toro is currently shooting in Toronto (under the fake title of Still Seas) and the Canadian streets have been receiving a distinctly Japanese makeover (and are those hoverers?!). Check it out yourself in the video below:

The Sci-Fi Discussion: Why Can't Someone Hurry Up and Make 'The Forever War,' Already?

The Forever War, written by Joe Haldeman, is one of the best science fiction novels ever written. It's amazingly cinematic in concept and execution. It has fascinating themes and ideas for the sci-fi geeks and tons of insane action for the plebes. So this begs the question: why hasn't it been made into a movie yet?

It's not like people haven't tried. In 2008, Ridley Scott snatched the film rights and announced that it would be his return to the science fiction genre. In 2009, he noted that the success of Avatar convinced him to shoot the film in 3D. Of course, that was several years ago and now Scott is making his return to the genre with the upcoming Prometheus (which was shot in 3D). Scott remains attached and every so often a new writer becomes attached, but the film has no forward momentum. In fact, the last time we heard anything solid about the film was in 2010. With Scott about to roll cameras on Cormac McCarthy's The Counselor, the chance that we'll see the director of Blade Runner tackle one of the great interstellar war stories of all time grows smaller and smaller.

For those of you who aren't familiar with The Forever War, here's the brilliant premise: In the future, mankind is at war with an alien race. However, the vast distances of space require both sides to utilize warp technology to traverse the universe and battle each other. While a single voyage will last months for those on board the ship, years will pass in regular time. This means that returning soldiers find themselves on a planet entirely unlike the one they left, with their family and friends often long gone. Unable to adjust to the new society, they have no choice but to return to the battlefield, the only world they truly know. As far as Vietnam War metaphors go, it's probably one of the all-time best (Haldeman is a veteran himself).

The Forever War has the potential to be an incredible film and Scott is an amazing match for the material. However, if he's not going to make it (and if they can't travel back in time to give it to Oliver Stone circa 1988), may I kindly suggest Darren Aronofsky? I would also suggest Christopher Nolan, but that's probably a little too obvious.

In any case, IMDB still has The Forever War listed for 2013 and that sure isn't happening. In the meantime, the film will have to lurk in Development Hell, waiting for someone smart and ambitious to rescue it. Let's hope that happens soon.

Categories: Features, Sci-Fi
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