Another week goes by, and another series of exciting developments in the world of science fiction…

Newscast 1: Channing Tatum signs up for THE FOREVER WARThe Forever War cover

Since my teenage years (and yes, they were a long time ago!) I’ve had a near-obsession with Joe Haldeman’s THE FOREVER WAR. It’s one of my top five books of all time. Haldeman and Heinlein have probably been the two most influential authors on my work, and I go back and re-read FOREVER WAR every couple of years. It’s a very deep and exciting story, with a very bitter-sweet style.

Channing Tatum has been signed for the up-coming movie project. FOREVER WAR has been in the works as a very long time, with Ridley Scott having expressed a strong interest in directing. Warner Brothers has recently acquired the rights, and I assume that Tatum will be playing Private Mandela. Let’s hope that Hollywood gets this one right!

Newscast 2: STARSHIP TROOPERS to become a TV series?

Starship Troopers book coverIn a recent Hitfix article, it has been reported that Robert Heinlein’s seminal man versus bug war story might be heading for the small screen. The news is pretty scant on this one, but it’s perhaps somewhat apt that the intel hits the front line the same week as the FORVER WAR latest! STARSHIP TROOPERS – the book, not the movie – is another of my favourite SF worlds.

Considering the success of series such as BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, I can actually see a STARSHIP TROOPERS serial working quite well. The original novel could be adapted to suit the 6-12 episode format of a US TV series. The difficulty, I suppose, would be keeping the audience after that original arc.

I’d like to see something big, bold and dark: a completely different vision to the big screen version. And it must – I repeat must – include proper power armour!

Newscast 3: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD adds Elizabeth Rodriguez to cast

I admit it: I’m suffering WALKING DEAD withdrawal symptoms. It’s a great TV series, and it proves that zombie drama has a place on mainstream TV. It’s the sort of series that people who profess a dislike for sci-fi or horror with actively seek out and enjoy. I’m hopeful that James SA Corey’s THE EXPANSE will achieve similar results for the space opera genre!

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, to be broadcast this summer, is a new spin-off of the WALKING DEAD. It will apparently focus on the uprising – the early stages of the walker epidemic – and thus should be quite different to THE WALKING DEAD. Elizabeth Rodriguez has just been added to the cast. Known for her roles in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and GRIMM, Rodriguez’s role has not so far been disclosed.

Newscast 4: SUICIDE SQUAD cast photo revealed

Suicide Squad line upFollowing the recent reveal of Jared Leto’s Joker, director David Ayer has just released a cast photo of the assembled Suicide Squad via his Twitter account. Shortly thereafter, he also revealed a costumed shot of Will Smith as Deadshot.

Fan reaction to the Joker’s new look has been extreme and mixed. If nothing else, it’sWill Smith's Deadshot a bold new version of the classic look. Given that the Joker has been through so many transitions – from Cesar Romero’s campy 1960s trickster, through Jack Nicholson’s psychotic ganglord, through to the ghoulish psychopath played by Heath Ledger. My immediate reaction to Leto’s new Joker: I’m scared…

Jared Leto's The JokerThe cast photo shows that this is going to be a unique vision of the classic villain line-up. Of course, we’ll only know for sure when the film is released, but it also seems to demonstrate DC’s movement away from a Marvelesqsue shared universe. The gang looks highly stylised; more like a reimagining
of the usual suspects than a direct comic book port. It certainly seems as though this film is going to stand alone.

Newscast 5: Orbit has acquired two new books from Ann Leckie

Anyone with an interest in science fiction will have heard of Ann Leckie. She’s a fellow Orbiteer, but even before I signed with Orbit I was a big supporter of her debut book ANCILLARY JUSTICE. The Imperial Radch series has continued with ANCILLARY SWORD and ANCILLARY MERCY. Both JUSTICE and SWORD have been critically acclaimed and award-winning; accolades which they definitely deserve. Orbit will be publishing two new books! One of the new books will be set in the Radch universe, whilst the other will be a brand new science fiction novel.