The Forever War to be filmed in 3D, murdering a significant chunk of my teen years

Over at Slashfilm, there’s word that Ridley Scott’s film adaptation of the seminal SciFi novel The Forever War will be filmed in 3D.  Oh joy.

Call me cynical but my hopes for this movie are heading down then escalator of doom towards the basement level of the mall of SciFi, where Yor: The Hunter of the Future and Sphere live.

I sincerely hope that this book, which features a lot of time with the protagonist decidedly not being in a war and a few startling moments of fighting, powered armor and aliens shaped like ambulatory mushrooms doesn’t get adapted like Starship Troopers did.  Both books are portrayals of war, propaganda and the influence they have on society.  Both featured powered armor.  Both are masterpieces in their own right.  Starship Troopers, the film, can hardly be called a masterpiece.  They even forgot the damned armor.

One thing that consoles me is that Ridly Scott who did us all a favor by making Blade Runner and then kept us buying new, definitive, actually this is the one versions of the DVD is helming this.  But 3D?  Hmm.  Something about filming a serious work of literature, yes the SciFi genre has them, in 3D just tastes like a kitschy ash tray from a Niagara Falls gift shop.

3D has been the next big thing since House of Wax (the original) came out in it.  We’ve all heard abou tthe coming revolution of 3D televisions, movies, computer monitors, etc.  Really?  I’ll believe it when I see it work well and not act as a gimmick.  Could Scott be the guy to make this happen in the film world.  I’d love to see it but I’m not going to hold my breath until this film comes out.  For another, this time cool looking film:

Formerly alien but now human teenagers are each getting killed one by one and the fourth John Smith is about to face the truth in I Am Number Four movie set for a February 18, 2011 release.

[tags]3d, forever war, movies and TV[/tags]

21 thoughts on “The Forever War to be filmed in 3D, murdering a significant chunk of my teen years

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  1. Ok, it’s a classic of american lit, not just science fiction, and anyone screwing it up deserves to die in the hell where they show him Krull over and over until he dies from the blood lost through his eyeballs. But it’s Ridley Scott, Alien & Blade Runner should allow us to give the guy some slack. If anyone knows how to respect a science fiction classic, it’s that guy. But yeah, you’re right, 3D seems oddly inappropriate for a book of such thoughtfulness which is pretty heavily non-action oriented.


  2. I’m vacillating between slightly high hopes (ever the optimist) and the harsh reality of the movie biz – lots of folks who could care less about a story as long as there is a profit.

    Ridley Scott? Great! 3D? er. . . okay. Movie adaptation of a classic SF novel. . . ouch.


  3. Yeah, i have to jump on the ‘oh no’ bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I love Scott’s work, he does great stuff. But 3D sounds like special effects laden storylines… and the Forever War just isn’t.

    Now, if Will Smith is added to this, I know it’ll be bad. Please tell Mr Smith to step away from science fiction book adaptations. Please.


  4. The Forever War was is a fantastic novel and will be still for the foreseeabe future. However, I think most of us can agree that the feeling you get from a book is somewhat different from the emotion released when watching a film.
    For example, DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP, this book dove deep into the notion of artificial intelligence. Androids were created for manual labor… androids were created to be slaves. The story has an air of ‘eerieness’. The Replicants wanting a longer deserved life so they can grow mentally and gain a better understanding of the world around them. But in the film I did not get that same feeling. The movie touched on it lightly. It had less philosophy and more sights to glare at. (Not that it was bad) It is after all one of the best science fiction films ever made (and I do agree).
    What I am trying to say is that shooting the movie in 3D will no doubt be a risk, but because of the story’s large scale alien environments and its dscovery of the unknown, 3D will only illuminate and emphasise those otherwise unnoticable details… intesifying those emotions, given it more depth.


  5. I hope your right Ramo117 but having seen a large number of Hollywood adaptations of SF – I just don’t have a lot of faith in their ability to capture what made this book so amazing as a piece of literature. I’m fearing that they will focus on the SF aspects of it, where they don’t blammo the entire thing a la Starship trooper’s lack of suits.

    Right now 3D still seems gimmicky. I can almost guarantee that there will be at least three shots that do nothing other than show of the third dimension and have no bearing on the plot at all.

    Think of the adaptation of the Lord of the Rings and how much trepidation there was when it was announced Jackson was going to do these classic books as a trilogy. Now imagine how it would come across as “Lord of the Rings 3D!”

    That’s what gets me.


  6. Anyone who is worried about how the movie will look should take a gander at the newly released trailer for Avatar. This is the technology which Scott will use to make the Forever War and if it comes off (which i’m sure it will) then The Forever War could make the transition from novel to screen with the same impact as Lord of The Rings did. Ignore you 3d bias and get on board, Cameron’s new 3d technology could be a new dawn and the way forward. I cannot wait as Forever War which I first read in 1978 is still may favourite novel of all time.(sic)


  7. Hey Russ,

    I did take a gander at Avatar. There’s a large part of me that’s completely jazzed to see this movie. There’s a small part of me that watched blue skinned computerized cartoons prancing around and thought – this is anime meets disney with blood and guns. Which is NOT what I’m hoping for.

    Doesn’t mean the movie won’t blow me away but I can’t completely drop my 3D bias until I’m convinced that the movie isn’t being made in 3D for the gimmicks. The Forever War has lots of fighting scenes in it but the novel is not great *because* it has fighting scenes in it (which are good for 3D) but because it’s an examination of what war, loss, time and love do to the human spirit. The human spirit has traditionally been pretty lousy in 3D.


  8. Well, TFW is a great sci-fi novel. Hollywood is becoming an expert one tearing novels apart. I heard that Flash Gordon is the next big novel converted into a movie. I think that just like anything, it depends more on the money and the movie company that in the writer’s adaptation, it’s always like that.



  9. For my 2p, The Forever War is the the best piece of SF I have ever read, and I have been reading for 40 years (Sorry David, the Slammers are a close 2nd…).

    I would think that if anyone can pull this off it would be Scott – if indeed he goes back to his success delivering characters and content in a sci-fi setting, much like Blade Runner. Deckard, Batty and Rachel LIVED and interacted believably – hopefully so will Mandella and Marygay (and the Taurans…).

    My concern is that it becomes “loosely based” on Haldeman’s epic. Blade Runner was indeed “loosely based” on Dick’s DADoES. If you read Hasford’s The Short Timers then watch Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, the 1st 3rd of the novel was almost word-for-word, but the second half of the movie was a combination of the last 2 3rds of the book, still keeping most of the spirit intact. The Short Timers was about 175 pages, the movie was almost 2 hours.

    TFW is 288 pages – I hope Scott can keep the movie true to the book and use available technology to augment Haldeman’s story and characters rather than supplant them.

    If you, like me, enjoy Haldeman’s novels be sure to read his short stories. You will not be disappointed.

    And, Salvia – Hollywood tore up Flash already back in 1980…


  10. The writer is aware. It also includes cool armor suits and aliens that look like mushrooms. The writer is also aware that Starship Troopers featured cool suits and aliens.

    Look at that movie compared to the book.

    Avatar has given me a slight ray of hope though.


  11. Not quite yet. Avatar was beautiful and if the FW is filmed in that way then it will look great. But if 3D is used as a gimmick or to make a Transformers 2 3D style movie, then no.


  12. Having seen Avatar I hold a bit of hope that Scott will be able to pull it off. If it’s going to be toted as a sci-fi, then you’ll probably see more of the action scenes with tid bits of the back story and larger portion dealing with the effects of time dilation. If it’s intended to be more of a drama (aka. space opera) then it will probably be like Battlestar Galactica which was first a drama, then sci-fi, and lastly action.

    If FW is done more in the way of a drama I will be happy (don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to stasis fields and Megawatt lasers as much as the next guy). My main concern is that there are curtain topics in the book that will have heads rolling. People on both sides of politics will be saying its inappropriate, but I think society as a whole could learn a lot from this book (and hopefully the film as well).



  13. I second your thanks to a god that Mr. Bay is not involved.

    I’d love to see more of the drama side of things as well. The book worked well in part because it was written by a Vietnam Vet who was portraying his experiences through a pair of sci-fi colored glasses. I’d hate for the movie to lose that. Or *shudder* become Starship Troopers (the movie).


  14. I’ll give this film a chance–and I’m not about to fling it into the basement, sight unseen, because it’s in 3D.

    THE FOREVER WAR is one of my favorite SF novels, and I’ve read and re-read it quite a bit. Sir Ridley has had the rights to this for the past quarter-century, and with the advances in visual effects (especially in light of AVATAR) he can pull it off. We’ll see.

    But as for the “Oh no! It’s in 3D! NOOOOOO!!!” moan–dial it back. He will probably use the Fusion camera system that Cameron developed, which was why AVATAR worked so well in 3D. It was made to be shot in 3D from the start–not as an afterthought conversion.

    Besides, they’ll probably release the movie in 2D as well.

    Man….remember the days when people used to actually _watch_ films to judge whether they were good or not, and didn’t pull the pre-cog act and declare the film dead and buried while not seeing it?


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