Jupiter Ascending Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum to star in adaptation of sci-fi classic The Forever War

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Apr 30, 2015, 5:55 PM EDT (Updated)

The long-delayed film version of Joe Haldeman's classic novel The Forever War has landed its star.

The Wrap reports that Channing Tatum is attached to play the lead role in the movie, which has been in development for years by director Ridley Scott. The director is no longer involved with the project, but two studios -- Sony and Warner Bros. -- are both bidding for the rights that Scott just recently let go.

So now the movie needs a new director. A script has already been penned by Jon Spaihts, who wrote the original version of Prometheus for Scott (when it was called Alien: Engineers) and has also drafted Doctor Strange for Marvel and director Scott Derrickson.

Haldeman's novel was published in 1974 and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. It follows a soldier named William Mandella, who is sent into deep space as part of an elite force battling an alien species called the Taurans. Due to the time dilation of space travel, centuries pass on Earth during Mandella's two-year tour of duty, and he returns to an Earth and human race that quickly become unrecognizable to him.

The novel, which was said to be heavily influenced by Haldeman's own service during the Vietnam War, has a lot of provocative aspects to it -- such as the government encouraging homosexuality in order to keep overpopulation down. It will be interesting to see if those elements of the story remain, or if Hollywood just turns this into another CG explosion extravaganza.

Let's hope it's the former. And let's hope it works out well for Tatum, who could use a nice return to the genre after the spectacular crash-and-burn of Jupiter Ascending earlier this year.

Have you read The Forever War? Do you think it can be translated to the big screen?

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