Exclusive: Jon Spaihts Updates on The Forever War Movie

The Forever War movie will bring to the big screen Joe Haldeman’s classic sci-fi novel

In the works for years, a cinematic take on Joe Haldeman‘s allegorical sci-fi novel finally appears set to become a reality. The Forever War movie was picked up by Warner Bros. last year with Channing Tatum attached to play the lead and Doctor Strange, Prometheus and Passengers scribe Jon Spaihts set to adapt the 1974 novel for the screen. CS caught up with Spaihts this week and learned that The Forever War movie remains in very active development.

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“I’m working on it every day right now,” he tells us. “It was delayed a little bit, unfortunately, by the incredible time commitment that ‘Passengers’ became. That’s the way in which I was bitten by the depth of my involvement in the production and post-production of ‘Passengers,’ but ‘The Forever War’ is easily in my top five favorite sci-fi novels of all time.”

Haldeman’s The Forever War tells the story of an ongoing intergalactic military conflict where, due to the time displacement of faster-than-light travel, soldiers leave the Earth and return decades later despite seeming to them as if very little time has passed. Haldeman, who served in Vietnam, used the book as an allegory for his wartime experiences and the challenges involved in returning to civilian life after going to war.

“It’s a parable for our time and it’s timely all over again,” Spaihts continues. “It was written by a guy who was a mathematician, a physicist and a Vietnam vet. He wrote from a very personal journey and it’s a semi-autobiographical tale, despite being set in the far future. I think that story resonates today as much as it ever has, maybe more than ever… I think that it, too, has one of the great science fiction love stories of all time. I think it’s the rare successful war story that is also a successful love story. It’s cosmic in scope.”

Tatum would play William Mandela, a young man assigned to a military task force in the war against an alien race called the Taurans. The romance side of the story involves a fellow officer with whom Mandela manages to stay connected despite them both living through some harrowing centuries, sometimes out of sync even with one another.

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“I think that the solution we found that updates the story is respectful, faithful and smart,” says Spaihts. “I think it’s going to land well. I’m just over the moon about it. It’s an incredible honor to be able to work on something that flows from a piece of literature that i love so much. I’m not sure there has been many more seminal works of science fiction than that book.”

Check back for update on The Forever War movie as they become available and look for our full interview with Spaihts soon. Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and directed by The Imitation Game‘s Morten Tyldum, hits theaters December 21.

What do you feel is most important for a Forever War movie to get right? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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