Channing Tatum to Star in Movie Adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War

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. Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts will pen the script; previously, 20th Century Fox and Ridley Scott had held the rights for seven years but never moved on the project.

And they’ve already signed a lead: Channing Tatum is onboard to star as William Mandella, a soldier fighting a fearsome enemy, only to (thanks to time dilation) return to a world he doesn’t recognize.

Here’s the book summary for some more information:

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…

It will be interesting to see if Spaihts’ adaptation will be set in 1977 or present-day. Where Mandella’s story begins is important in relation to the future shock he encounters every time he’s on leave. The early and later 2000s are extrapolated from the 1970s, during which the book was written. Furthermore, the future that Mandella and his fellow conscripts encounter may well change.

No release date has been announced yet.

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