“After a bidding war with Sony, Warner Bros has won the rights to adapt Joe Haldeman’s Hugo- and Nebula-winning sci-fi novel The Forever War,” Tor.com revealed today. The script will be written by Jon Spaihts, writer of Ridley Scott’s much-maligned (but underrated) Prometheus. Tor.com also spilled the beans about the film’s lead: Channing Tatum, of Magic Mike, and Jupiter Ascending fame. He will play William Mandella, an Earth soldier who has to deal with a rapidly changing human society due to the time dilation necessary to travel through interstellar space.
The Forever War is one of my favourite novels, so I’m duly excited (and duly dubious) about this adaptation.
As Tor.com postulates, many questions remain surrounding the adaptation. Will it be set in modern times, or 1977 like the novel? How will the narrative handle the military narrative and political messaging from a modern perspective, versus Haldeman’s firsthand experiences during the Vietnam war. Are we still on the path to an exclusively homosexual human society? It’s a complicated novel, so hopefully the writer and directors are willing to engage with Haldeman’s book on more than a surface level.