As reported this morning in Deadline, Netflix has optioned John Scalzi’s modern sci-fi classic Old Man’s War to develop as an original film. The novel is the first book in a bestselling six book series. It’s broadly considered to be one of the best military SF novels written in the past two decades, and was nominated for a Hugo Award. Jon Shestack Productions and Madhouse Entertainment will produce.
Old Man’s War takes place centuries in the future where older citizens are given a choice: age and die on Earth or join the military in the interstellar Colonial Union, which will transfer their minds into reengineered, super-charged, battle-ready versions of their former selves. It follows 75-year-old widower John Perry, who discovers that his amazing new body makes him a natural fighter. He leads his platoon through horrific battles against hostile alien races. Then he meets a soldier who looks like a younger version of his beloved deceased wife, and everything he thought he knew about his life and what he’s fighting for is turned upside down.
Scalzi, a former President of the Science Fiction Writers of America and three-time Hugo winner, also has projects in development with FX and Working Title. He signed a 10-year, 13 book deal with TOR Books. His most recent Hugo was for Best Novel with Redshirts in 2013. He’ll be on board as executive producer along side Shestack and Madhouse’s Ryan Cunningham, with Robyn Meisinger and Adam Kolbrenner as producers.
“Executive Producer” is one of those roles that varies broadly in meaning from one production to the next, and usually signifies, at very least, a contractual agreement with the person involved that gives them a much bigger slice of the film’s profits.
Old Man’s War has, as of this writing, as yet to set a release date.