I’ve written before about The Forever War, which is one of my all-time favorite books.
The book is the story of William Mandella, a brainy but essentially non-martial physicist drafted to fight in a never-ending war that combines time dilation, terror, and pointlessness. Because Earth’s battleships and soldiers reach the faraway planets to fight the Taurans through “collapsar jumps” that invoke Einstein’s theory of relativity, Mandella keeps returning from battles to a society that has changed by decades and then by hundreds of years.
Richard sent me a link to this story, which reports that Ridley Scott — the director of Blade Runner and other classic films — has acquired the rights to bring The Forever War to the big screen and is working with the screenwriter for Blade Runner on the effort.
I’m holding my breath. I would love to see The Forever War made into a movie. It is a great story from a visual standpoint, and I think Ridley Scott is well-suited to bringing out the weirdness, humor, and sense of utter dislocation that Mandella experienced. At the same time, when I see that the screenplay is in its fourth draft, I think: please don’t change the story too much! Sometimes movie versions absolutely nail the book and capture the characters perfectly — the epic TV series Lonesome Dove is a great example of that. In other cases, however, the movie version will change characters in fundamental and unwanted ways, or modify the plot to the point of being unrecognizable. I don’t want that to happen to Mandella, Marygay Potter, and other beloved characters.
As I said, I’m holding my breath.