Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War Finally Hitting the Big Screen

In 1974, Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War hit book stores and hardcore sci-fi fans’ hearts. Two years later (1976) the novel won some of the most coveted sci-fi awards out there, the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Locus awards for best novel. Springboard to today, The Forever War is considered a military sci-fi classic that breaks many space opera clichés, such as the protagonists ability to affect a war solely by him- or herself, and it acts as a commentary on Haldeman’s real life feelings towards the Vietnam War, in which he bravely served in. The novel also expands scientific ideas such as time dilation, as the story’s protagonist, Mandella, watches earth change from its modern state to a completely homosexual, “Brave New World” planet that reproduces essentially through the “Bokanovsky’s Process”. Mandella and his fellow human soldiers fight to protect Earth from the alien Tauran race in a high-tech space and ground war that lasts centuries, as Mandella maintains a relationship with the novel’s lead female character, Marygay Potter.

As the real world reaches the year 2015, The Forever War is finally getting a stab at the big screen, and presumably Mandella has been casted to American heartthrob, Channing Tatum.  Warner Bros outbid Sony in late April for the rights to The Forever War,  with Prometheus screenwriter Jon Spaihts scripting. It has been reported that the script has seen many changes and been through many writers’ hands over the years—even passing through Alien mastermind Ridley Scott’s grasp with 20th Century Fox for the past seven years.

While this writer may have imagined a more rugged actor to play Mandella, there are very little complaints to be had. The 41-year-old novel deserves to hit the big screen and Channing Tatum has proven to be at least adequate in big sci-fi roles, with 2015′s Jupiter Ascending. As for Marygay, casting has yet to be made. For all who have not given Haldeman’s The Forever War a read, check it out, and give your opinion on the Tatum casting in the comments below.

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Dom Fonce is an English Lit Major at Youngstown State University in Ohio. He is on the editorial staff for Jenny Magazine and Penguin Review, as well as a member of the SLAA (Student Literary Arts Association) of YSU. He particularly loves science fiction and graphic novels. He aspires to be the next Frank Miller or Alan Moore.

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