World War Z director headed to Mars for next movie

Marc Forster

Even though World War Z was a box-office victory pulled from the jaws of defeat, director Marc Forster isn't coming back for a sequel. But he has another sci-fi project in the works.

Deadline reports that Forster has signed to direct Red Rising, based on a recently published science fiction novel by Pierce Brown. The author has already written a screenplay, and the project is being shopped around to studios. Here is the plot synopsis (via Slashfilm):

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow - and Reds like him - are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Sounds kind of like a mashup of The Hunger Games, Metropolis and Total Recall to me. Nevertheless, this looks like it's going to be Forster's next film, since it was made pretty clear that he would not be returning for the followup to World War Z.

Even though that movie grossed $540 million worldwide, Forster had a tough time making the picture and reportedly clashed with producer/star Brad Pitt and the studio. The production was so troubled that the entire final third of the movie had to be rewritten and reshot, although in the end a movie predicted to be a colossal flop turned out to be a hit for Paramount Pictures (who probably won't get back in business with Forster for Red Rising).

In any case, Forster is moving on -- to Mars. The original Total Recall aside, films set on the red planet (Ghosts of Mars, Mission to Mars, etc.) haven't fared very well -- do you think this one sounds like it might?

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