It’s tempting to describe Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation trilogy as Wikipedia… In Space!, but it’s probably more fair to call it Wikipedia In Space: A Thousand Year Long Xanatos Gambit Featuring Cameos From Everything Else Asimov Has Written.
And now… it’s being pushed to the movie adaptation stage, just to give Fox’s ill-advised I, Robot sort-of-sequel some competition. Is Asimov becoming Hollywood’s newest Phillip K. Dick?
You know, for people to make very loosely based adaptations so that for every Blade Runner, there’s half a dozen A.I.s and Total Recalls and The Adjustment Bureaus. And one Blade Runner.
Will The Foundation be Asimov’s Blade Runner? We’re guessing no, since the guy who is all set to direct the millennia spanning tale of a man who, well, manipulates a government into setting up some isolated think-tanks is… Roland Emmerich.
Emmerich has been attached since the studio acquired the property in early 2009 when he and former Centropolis partner Michael Wimer won a multi-studio auction as the rights became available. Originally published as a short story series in Astounding Magazine in 1942, Asimov’s Foundation is the complex saga of humans scattered on planets throughout the galaxy, all living under the rule of the Galactic Empire. The protagonist is a psycho-historian who has an ability to read the future and sees that the empire will collapse imminently. He sets out to save the knowledge of mankind from being wiped out.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Independence Day and Stargate and, frankly, even Godzilla, but I like them because they are fun, weird, and fun, in that order. The Foundation’s story is, well, a bit more complex. An action movie based on governments and various agents attempting to kill or capture Hari Seldon, the mathematician who has just discovered how to broadly predict the events of humanity’s future is certainly entertaining, but would probably leave a lot of the story untouched in the background.
I guess what I’m saying is this could be Asimov’s Minority Report.
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