Logan's Run is a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. Published in 1967, it depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources is managed and maintained in equilibrium by the simple expedience of demanding the death of everyone upon reaching a particular age, thus avoiding the issue of overpopulation. The story follows the actions of Logan, a Deep Sleep Operative or "Sandman" charged with enforcing the rule, as he tracks down and kills citizens who "run" from society's lethal demand only to himself ultimately "run."
The introduction to the book states:
|Yellow||Birth to 7 years|
|Blue||7 to 14 years|
|Red||14 years to Lastday (21 years)|
|Black||End of Lastday (death)|
Runners are those who refuse to report to a Sleepshop and attempt to avoid their fate by escaping to Sanctuary. Logan 3 is a Deep Sleep Operative (or Sandman) whose job is to terminate Runners using a special weapon called the Gun, an unusual revolver which can fire a number of different projectiles, and Omnite, a fictional hybrid martial arts style. On his own Lastday he becomes a Runner himself in an attempt to infiltrate an apparent underground railroad for runners seeking Sanctuary — a place where they can live freely in defiance of society's dictates. For most of the book, therefore, Logan is an antihero; however, his character develops a growing sympathy towards Runners and in the end he himself is truly a Runner.
Jessica 6, a contact Logan made after he chased her Runner brother Doyle 10 into Cathedral where he was killed by the vicious preteen "Cubs," helps him, despite her initial distrust of him. Francis, another Sandman and a friend of Logan, catches up with Logan and Jessica after they have managed to make it to the final staging area before Sanctuary. He reveals that he is actually the legendary Ballard, who has been helping arrange their escape. The 42-year-old Ballard is working from within the system; he believes that the computer that controls the city, buried beneath Crazy Horse Mountain, is beginning to malfunction, and that the society will die with it.
Sanctuary turns out to be an abandoned space colony near Mars. Logan and Jessica escape to the colony on a rocket that departs from a former space program launch site in Florida. Ballard remains to help others escape.
Logan's Run is fast-paced, but dark, and was considered quite graphic for its time. The novel has a wide variety of characters including a libidinous cyborg and an army of deadly androids recreating the American Civil War.
Both the novel and the film detail a future society that is very permissive where sex and recreational drugs are concerned. Tobacco, however, is a banned substance, and police are known to raid places where cigarettes are smoked.
A novel by Louis Carbonneau called Barrier World (1970) has a similar storyline, where a closed society is sustained by systematic elimination of defective people, which included old age. The age is 30 instead of 21.
Logan's World deals with events following Logan's returning to Earth, amidst the survivors and ruins of the system he escaped in the first novel, while Logan's Search deals with Logan going to an alternate reality (with the assistance of some alien friends) to once again stop the government system he escaped in the first novel, albeit with some minor changes.
In March 2004, director Bryan Singer was brought in to develop and direct Logan's Run. Singer had begun working with production designer Gy Dyas from his previous film X2. Screenwriters Ethan Gross and Paul Todisco were hired to write the script with the director, with the film being slated for a 2005 release. In October, the director said he had begun previsualization of Logan's Run, which would be completed by the time he finished production of his project at the time, Superman Returns. The following December, screenwriter Dan Harris said that he and the director had turned in a first draft for Logan's Run. Harris said that further development of the project would take place in Sydney after production for Superman Returns, for which he also collaborated, was finalized. The screenwriter said that the remake would contain more action than the original film, describing the premise to be "a remake of the concept of the movie plus the book".
In February 2005, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie was hired to rewrite the script, with filming to take place in Australia. In February 2006, Logan's Run was scheduled to begin production in fall of 2006 in Vancouver. The following May, Singer's availability to direct Logan's Run was questioned due to scheduling conflicts with filming the sequel to Superman Returns. By May, Singer confirmed that he would not direct Logan's Run, seeking a vacation from the scheduled demands of his job. Directors Robert Schwentke and James McTeigue were approached for the project, but neither ultimately signed on.
In August 2006, production offices for Logan's Run were taken over by the production for the 2008 film Speed Racer. In April 2007, producer Joel Silver reiterated his plan to remake the original film. The following July, Silver said that since Singer's departure, no new director had come aboard the project. In August 2007, the project was reinvigorated with Joseph Kosinski hired as the new director and a new script being written by screenwriter Timothy J. Sexton. Kosinski had made a presentation to Warner Bros. including graphic art and animated previsualization that illustrated his plan for the film, whose low budget appealed to the studio.
To save money, the series depicted Logan and Jessica — still pursued by Francis (Randolph Powell) — on a cross-country trek to Sanctuary in a post-apocalyptic America. The domed city was seen only in the pilot and two other episodes, using recycled footage from the film. In a change from the book and film, the television series had the city run by a cabal of elderly citizens. Logan and Jessica were joined by an android, "REM", played for comic relief by Donald Moffat. Most of the plots were conventional genre clichés, including one "Logan-has-amnesia" episode.