Old Man's War by John ScalziFrom Deadline.com:

Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to the John Scalzi novel series Old Man’s War, with Wolfgang Petersen attached to direct and David Self adapting the tale into a large-scale science fiction project. Scott Stuber will produce through his Stuber Pictures banner, with Petersen also producing.


Stuber’s currently producing the Peter Berg-directed Battleship, Keanu Reeves-starrer 47 Ronin and the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds drama Safe House.

Petersen hasn’t directed a film since the 2006 pic Poseidon. That film didn’t work, but before that, the Das Boot helmer had an enviable string of blockbusters: Troy, The Perfect Storm, Air Force One, Outbreak and In the Line of Fire.

And a synopsis, for those who haven’t read the novel:

You’re seventy-five years old, your wife is dead, and your life is winding down. What do you do next? If you’re John Perry, the answer is simple: You join the military. The Colonial Defense Forces take Earth’s senior citizens and retrofit them young, strong bodies — and then throws them into the unending war humanity is waging against other civilizations up there among the stars. John Perry is in the middle of it all and learning fast to survive, because the alternatives — for him and humanity — are grim. And it’s in the middle of this struggle for survival that Perry meets a woman who seems achingly familiar…

Old Man’s War is one of my favourite novels. It’s a wonderful companion to classics like Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and Haldeman’s The Forever War, taking the same basic premise (raw recruit in intergalactic war), but putting a more contemporary spin on the setting and some of the scientific concepts. If this ever makes it to the silver screen (which, lets be honest, it’s Hollywood and I’ll believe it when I see a trailer), I think it will be an easy transition. John Perry, the protagonist and narrator is charming and charismatic, an aspect that should transfer easily to the silver screen through some deft casting. Most amusing, though, will be the outraged Avatar fans proclaiming its concept of sleeving humans in superhuman bodies as a huge ripoff.

  • Kendall February 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    ROCK ON!!! I know many are optioned, few are made, but I’ll hold out hope that this happens. :-D

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  • Andrew Liptak February 24, 2011 at 5:55 am

    I’m rather excited – I really enjoyed Old Man’s War, and I’ve always thought it would make a good flick.

  • The Dude February 24, 2011 at 8:47 am

    You’re a better man than I am. If and when the outrage from Avatar fans appear, it’ll just piss me off :-)

    This has the potential to be a great movie, but let’s not forget that Starship Troopers had it too, and look what happened to that one…

  • James February 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    The Starship Troopers adaptation is something more along the lines of an accident and a joke. Hard to take it seriously when the director couldn’t bring himself to finish the book. After that, the potential just walked away, shaking its head.

    I would love to say that I have high hopes for a good adaptation of Old Man’s War, but I don’t. Chances are, had I not been told that the director also brought us movies like Troy, The Perfect Storm, Air Force One, and Poseidon… I would be slightly more optimistic.

    Also, on the point of Avatar fans getting up in arms about people being re-sleeved into superhuman bodies… don’t forget that those bodies are green. There is a potential for hours of entertainment when the first images are leaked to the public or when the trailer hits.

  • Clifton Hill February 28, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Interesting and good point! Funnily enough I didn’t think of the analogy to Avatar when I read the book (recently and after I saw Avatar). But, then, from a literary standpoint they are very different situations and setups, whereas visually the drawing of a similarity between two movies could be more…derivative in appearance–at least to the ill-informed.

    Here’s hoping we start hearing of rumored cast members and see that eventual teaser.

  • Jonathan K March 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Richard Morgan might have something to say to Avatar fans if they get pissy about sleeved bodies and rip-offs, and there probably was someone before Morgan, for all I know.