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Forward the Foundation Movie

It looks like the stalled film adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation may be moving forward.

Says Variety:

Columbia won an auction late Thursday for screen rights to “Foundation,” Isaac Asimov’s ground breaking science fiction trilogy. The film will be developed as a directing vehicle for Roland Emmerich.

Emmerich and his Centropolis partner Michael Wimer will produce the film. The deal was mid six-figures against low seven figures.

Originally published as a series of eight short stories in Astounding Magazine beginning in 1942, “Foundation” is a complex saga about humans who are scattered on planets throughout the galaxy, living under the rule of the Galactic Empire.

A psycho-historian who can scientifically read the future sees an imminent empire collapse, and sets to work preparing to save the knowledge of mankind.

This could be good news…Emmerich also directed Stargate and Independence Day. But then again, he also directed The Day After Tomorrow which received a…shall we say “lukewarm”?…reception.

Emmerich has another link to Asimov, as it turns out. IMDB shows Emmerich is also slated to direct (in 2010) a remake of the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. That film was originally written by author Jerome Bixby (“It’s a GOOD Life”) and novelized by Isaac Asimov (who is often credited with the idea for the film beacuse the novelization appeared before the film). I’d have more to say about this, but I’m suddenly only thinking of Raquel Welch…

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

8 Comments on Forward the Foundation Movie

  1. Okay, admittedly it’s been a while since I read the Foundation books, but I don’t remember them focussing much on stuff blowin’ up. But wrecking things is kinda Emmerich’s fetish. What’s he gonna do with (or is that to) this story?


  2. Forget about that – who can he get to fill a skin tight wet suit to replace Raquel?  Will there be a changing room scene?

    There has not been a good history of Asimov adaptations.  Will Foundation be different?  I think there is potential there – there is action that takes place off scene in the stories.


  3. I’m not sure how I feel about a Foundation movie.  I am a still-wet-behind-the-ears fan of Asimov, having read the Foundation trilogy at this time last year for the first time.  I am so enamored with those three novels that I cannot imagine a film ever doing them justice. Perhaps a brief, couple season television series would have more of a chance of being true to the work while expanding on it.

  4. Edward Milewski // January 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm //

    Sounds like a bad idea to me. If they actually do it though, they’ll have to use very good actors.  Especially for Hari Seldon. I’m all for Patrick Stewart.

  5. Pete Tzinski // January 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm //

    My theory with movies, even when they appear to be “in motion” is, they absolutely won’t happen…until they do. It seems to hold true of Hollywood well enough.

    Douglas Adams said that making a movie is like trying to cook a steak by having a series of people pass by it and exhale on it.

    (I LIKED the Day after Tomorrow. It’s my wife’s favorite film. She’s a bit of a disaster flick nerd. And has made me one too. It’s such a fun movie.)

  6. I’m pretty concerned about this, mainly because the Foundation novels don’t have a great plot.  They have a great theme, and very big ideas.  But I don’t remember any battles, or fights or real conflict. The 2 plot lines I remember are “trying to find the 2nd foundation” and “trying to stop the Mule from ruining the plan”.  Neither makes for a good movie.

    This means they will have to add some action to spice up the movie.  And when people start adding stuff they usually ruin the story.

    Don’t misunderstand me, the ideas and themes in the Foundation trilogy are fantastic.  But that doesn’t mean it will make a good movie.

  7. Bob Banks // January 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm //

    I am approaching 65, and still have stron memories of reading ther original Foundation series as soon as it appeared in paperback.

    I am very happy that there will be movies based on the books, however, I sincerely hope that it will not be as awful as the movie “I, Robot,” Which seemed to have nothing to do with the original collection of short stories.

    I also like to give encouragement to the studio, its producers and director.

  8. Douglas Gray // October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm //

    Asimov was never a pure science fiction writer.  He mixes sci-fi themes with suspense and drama in a way that I always found entertaining.

    He was my favorite growing up. The books could be great as movies, but they have to be done by someone who can mix sci-fi with drama and suspense in the right way.

    It would be a challenge to do it right.  The one robot movie done thus far was not a good sign of Hollywoods ability to do Azimov justice, but they are welcome to try again. 

    I wouldn’t begin with FOUNDATION.  Try THE CAVES OF STEEL, see if they can pull of a good suspense situation in a Sci-Fi setting. 

    The original FOUNDATION novel would actually be the hardest to do; it’s mostly ideas.  PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION actually has plenty of action, and could make a great movie.  The knife fight in Billobotton, visiting Mother Rittah and hearing about Earth, that is good stuff.





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