Director Ridley Scott has quietly reteamed with Blade Runner screenwriter David Webb Peoples for an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning sci-fi novel The Forever War, according to a post on Haldeman’s blog (which was later reported by Ain’t It Cool). Scott has been working on The Forever War since 2008, but this is the first news that he plans to work with Peoples again—a move that’s seemingly right in line with Scott’s increasing nostalgia for his sci-fi past. The Forever War, published in 1974, is a thoughtful examination of the psychological effects of war (based on Haldeman’s experiences in Vietnam) that’s couched in a story of soldiers battling aliens on a faraway planet while also contending with time dilation, i.e. that the soldiers travel using wormhole-like phenomena that causes them to age only a few years while decades pass back on Earth. In short, it’s melancholy, dystopian stuff that deals with some fairly deep notions about the nature of humanity, which seems right inside Peoples’ wheelhouse.
The script is currently in its fourth draft under Peoples’ direction; in 2009, Scott confirmed that, having “seen some of James Cameron’s work,” he’s “got to go 3D” with the film, which will probably add some time to the production as well. And while getting the old Blade Runner band back together is certainly cause for excitement, we also have to remind ourselves that Scott has announced dozens of new projects in the last year, and appears to be just commissioning screenplays left and right these days, possibly so he can build a little fort out of them, climb on top, and yell, “I’m King Ridley Scott of Script Mountain! No one can have these ideas until I’m done playing with them!” But hopefully he’ll move this one to near the top of his ever-growing pile.