Netflix to Adapt John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War as a Movie

Deadline reports that Netflix has acquired the movie rights to Old Man’s War, the first novel in John Scalzi’s space opera series of the same name. While previously in development over the last decade as a movie with Paramount and then as a television series with Syfy, the novel has now found a home at Netflix as an original film.

“Netflix is a place where a lot of fantastic entertainment is happening these days,” Scalzi said in a post announcing the news on his website. “It’s trying a lot of things and taking a lot of chances, and most people I know who are working with Netflix are thrilled about being there right now. It really seems like it could be a great place for the OMW universe.”

If you haven’t yet read Old Man’s War, here’s the synopsis for the Hugo-nominated novel, Scalzi’s debut:

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it to the stars. The bad news is that, out there, planets fit to live on are scarce—and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Responsible for protecting humanity, the Colonial Defense Force doesn’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth, never to return. You’ll serve two years in combat. And if you survive, you’ll be given a homestead of your own on a hard-won planet light-years from home.

John Perry is taking that deal. He thinks he knows what to expect. But the actual fight is far, far harder than he can imagine—and what he will become is far stranger.

Scalzi will serve as executive producer on the project alongside production companies Jon Shestack Productions (Before I Fall) and Madhouse Entertainment (Prisoners, Slender Man). His post includes more insights into how this adaptation came to be, and proactively answers a few reader questions, including about the potential for adapting the other five books in the series:

But can a two to three hour movie truly hold the vastness and complexity of Old Man’s War?

I mean, yeah. It’s a pretty speedy story in that first book. And as to the rest of the universe of the series, if the first OMW movie works and people watch it and like it (hint, hint), we can have sequels. There are six books! We have lots to work with.


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