'All You Need Is Kill' Screenwriter Keeps Ridley Scott's 'The Forever War' Adaptation Alive

One of the many projects that Ridley Scott has had in development is based on Joe Haldeman's novel The Forever War.

This one has been in the works for a while, with David Webb Peoples (Blade Runner, Unforgiven, 12 Monkeys) writing a few drafts. But now Peoples has been supplanted by Dante Harper. This might actually be a good thing. Why? Because the book revolves around a soldier who is fighting a war against a distant alien race . The enemies are so far away, that soldiers sent out to fight may spend a year in transit and battle, but, due to the mechanics of faster than light travel, return home to an Earth that has aged decades. The time-displaced soldier re-enlists, and ends up spending centuries of Earth time at war in space.

It's a great concept, and here's where Harper comes in: he wrote the prime draft of All You Need is Kill, in which a soldier relives the same day of battle many times, and gradually improves his skills as he does so, like a video game player going through the same level over and over. The similarity is pretty evident, I think, and is likely part of the reason Harper is now penning a new draft. 

Movies.com reports the news, and does note that Harper also wrote Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (not so impressive, based on the trailer), and adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation that Roland Emmerich was toying with for some time. While I don't much want to see an Emmerich version of Foundation, having Harper move within these serious sci-fi circles is interesting, at least.

We don't have any timetable for this project right now. Scott is finishing the Cormac McCarthy-scripted The Counselor now, and then could move on either to the Blade Runner or Prometheus sequel, or any of a number of other projects he's had in development, including this one.

Here's the book synopsis:

The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand–despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away.  A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home.  But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries...