Asimov’s Foundation Being Adapted for Film!

foundation.jpgWow. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels have long sat on that imaginary list of “unadaptable” properties – books people would love to film but that everybody figures would be next to impossible to translate to the screen. Well, Gilliam pulled off Fear and Loathing and Jackson did rather well with Lord of the Rings and it looks as though Foundation will be the next to be scratched off that list. According to SciFi.com Jeff Vintar is currently at work writing a two film adaptation of the trilogy that will focus primarily on the second two novels with the first existing largely as backstory. Shekhar Kapur is slated to direct.

The talent announced so far looks pretty much like a good news / bad news situation to me thus far. Vintar is also the man responsible for the adaptation of Asimov’s I Robot which apparently has little resemblance to the source material whatsoever. Foundation is pretty much a sacred text to the sci-fi community so if he messes with it there will be a legion of angry, technically savvy geeks parked outside his front door yearning to do unpleasant things to him. The prospect of Kapur directing, though, has me strangely excited and I’m not sure why. The man is best known for period drama – Elizabeth was his doing – and though he’s shown nothing whatsoever to indicate he’s a sci-fi fan I think his ability to distill complex histories into a compelling film that has me thinking he’s the man to handle the incredibly weighty material of Foundation. Here’s hoping they do it justice …

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59 thoughts on “Asimov’s Foundation Being Adapted for Film!

  1. Are you kidding, Lucas is the LAST person I would want making this movie. Asimov’s original three foundation books were great books because they had original and surprising plot twists, backed up with good logic, it wasnt a book that tried to wow readers with outlandish settings, aliens, or spacecraft. Lucas’s last three films have been all special effects, with no acting, dialogue, script or plot to speak of. True, the first two Star Wars films were great movies, but he has long since lost the ability to make a decent scifi movie. Battlestar Galactica (the new one) shows what can be done in this genre, and that you can make something great without overused cliches and overdone special effects, but rather plot, acting and dialogue. Im being optimistic, because while film and books are two relatively different mediums, I think it is possible to do a realy great job with Foundation and that Hollywood wouldn’t dare do less.

  2. I was just looking at my fathers ‘Foundation’ book, and felt more strongly than ever that the first four chapters of ‘Foundation’ could serve as one movie, and the last chapter and ‘Foundation and Empire’ can serve as a second movie, with the end of ‘Foundation and Empire’s’ introduction of the Mule going into the third movie.

    And of course, if those are done right, then will be successfull leading to a maybe mixture of ‘Forward the Foundation’ and ‘Prelude to Foundation.’

    But, it just doesn’t seem like the Foundation movies are being made. I can’t find any news one way or the other whether they are being made; often, these things just don’t go reported. But dammit, it would be nice to get some closure so I can have some peace of mind!

  3. First off, why not three films? I definately think there’s more than enough material to support it. Remember that the major plot point is shortening the dark period between galactic empires from 10,000 years to a mere thousand. That’s a lot of time and I think Asimov filled it with enough intrigue, military and otherwise, to warrant a trilogy. The traders, the Mule, the second foundation; it’s all there. It just needs a director with enough respect for the source material to flesh it out.

    The other comment I have concerns the casting. With all due respect to Will Smith, as soon as I heard who was starring in that movie, I lost interest. I have nothing against him, but these stories – I, Robot, The Foundation triology – are better served as plot-driven movies populated by seasoned character actors, not as star vehicles overloaded with cgi. LOTR worked so well because the cast all served the story. With that in mind why not cast the movie with relatively unknown actors and let the story arch and (hopefully) good screenwriting, carry the day.

    And while I’m spouting off on the casting, I’ll just add that for my money the Mule should be played by an actor who somewhat resembles the character physically. My pick – Crispin Glover. He can act, he can be weird, on screen and off, and I think he’d bring the right balance of paranoid megalomania and neediness that made the mule such a grotesquely-interesting character.

  4. I hope this “vintar” guy does not mess this up. Isnt it so obvious that there is only one man in Hollywood who could make the movies the right way and that’s George Lucas. George is from a different era and can understand the simplicity of Asimovs’ vision.

    As for I robot that was a good Will Smith movie that had nothing to do with “I robot”. Please Mr. Vintar dont mess this up. It’s hands down the greatest science fiction epic of all time. The movie could be better the Lord of the Rings, and maybe even better than Lucas’ own Star Wars trilogy. Please!!!!! I would write it out myself if I had time.

  5. thought of one consolodation; this is a foundation movie not a just any old robot novel movie; they can’t just turn it into any kind of movie they want to; this is a move about a galactic civilization falling down; this is a serious topic that isn’t something you can just turn into a kiddy movie or make less serious than it is.

  6. I find that watching James Burke’s ‘Connections’, shows what can be done with showing technical stuff as a video showing . . . .

  7. Hope you don’t mind me changing the discussion topic for a bit, UBU ROI, but I was wondering if you knew any good(great?!) independent film Sci-Fi?!

  8. Just a quick comment and a thank you note.

    Thanks for the cheering, Flashgordon. Needed and appreciated.

    Concerning the dogma thing… remember the (rather lame) adaptation of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Well, there is a moment when Dorian Gray (!) gets into a fight and he leaves his portrait by the bed or something. After a while of exchanging punches, theres a detail shot of the painting, wich is the only way to stop him. Well, somebody in producer land figured a DETAIL shot wasnt enough, so they put this voice over going “the portrait!”. A 2 hour long film full of this is rather irritating. And terribly boring. Believe me, these things are specially put on films for people too busy stuffing their popcorn to bother with the film. I√Ǭ¥ve been asked to put voice overs to explain things that are in the film, visually and effectively.

    How are you going to explain, cinematically, the foundations of psycohistory? I believe it can be done, but there´s just a limit to how much you can lower the level of attention needed in a film.
    By the way, i saw I ROBOT the other day. Not the best Proyas film for me, but i figured it was an intelligent thing to adapt the laws of robotics into a new story. Keeps us purists happy! (laughs).

  9. I heard I guess the director of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, that he made the movie more for europe than America which accounts for its more authenticness; what they fuck! Are they telling me that they make cheap movies for cheap americans?! I often find that I can tell what type of community I live in just by going to the local video store; if they have all kinds of bible movies I’ve never heard of, well, you can tell what kind of community your in! I’ve noticed other parts of San Diego where they show philosophy documentaries; this all told me a few years ago that movies are released and shown in different areas depending on what type of community is there; in other words! this “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” guy is telling me I’m in the bad part of the world!

  10. To say the least, UBU ROI, I think you should keep your film whatever it is; somebody is bound to pick it up.

    I’ve been hearing a lot of the same dogma from people of all walks of life concerning intellectual content; people are to dumb and so on and so forth. It is amazing how they always use language that prevents further conversation; my arguement is that more complex films increase the rewatching; just make the film so that the gist of the film can be understood easily enough but that there is all kinds of hidden nuggets throughout the film to mentally chew on.

  11. I write this after getting the news my film has to be chopped into pieces just to get straight to video ditribution because “its too long and complex”. Its the worst feeling I√Ǭ¥ve had in a long long time. The Foundation books are long and complex, but the movie wont be, cause it simply wont sell. And that seems to be more imporant to everyone than making a good damn movie. I stayed away from the I ROBOT film and if any Foundation film ever comes out, I guess Ill stay away as well. Theres no room in todays film for diferent aproaches on any theme. Its all hip hop montage and explosions. Or phony romatic comedies. Spectators dont pay attention when they go into the film room, they chat and eat popcorn, they want voice overs to explain whats evident but requires a bit of attention. I recommend not to get your hopes too high.

  12. you should check out the last chapter of E.T. Bell’s “The Development of Mathematics” for a rather eerie account of statistics/economics theory.

  13. I’ve waited for this for a long, long time. I think the enterprise would work best as a trilogy. Actually, there’s enough material across the entire series (including the spin-offs by the Three B’s)to create a Star Wars-type odyssey, but that’s probably asking too much. The later books following the initial trilogy are much more weakly written but the material could be transformed in the hands of a good script-writer (Foundation and Earth is the last in terms of Foundation history and has a rather creepy ending).

    Another thing to bear in mind is that psychohistory as a scientific discipline fusing psychology, history and complexity science is now very much a reality. Its roots reach back far before the initial Trilogy although I don’t think IA was aware of this. There’s no Hari (or Harriet) Seldon on the scene as yet, although the time is ripe and there are foundations out there…

  14. Well, not that talking about what we want is going to influence the producers of this movie, or if we could that this is probably to late anyways.

    But, I just reread the last chapter of the first book of the “Foundation” trilogy, and I can’t help thinking that if they are going to make two movies that they could make the first one mostly that last chapter and then end it with the first part of book two “Foundation and Empire.” Then, with the second movie, they can cover the Mule and the destruction of Trantor.

    Done right, that sounds to me like a good couple of movies.

  15. When asked about the film Robocop, Asimov said film was about thirty years behind literature in terms of its theme and how deep one could go. Film studios were still dealing with “the Frankenstein story told over and over again” while he had long stablished the laws of robotics. Being an incipient filmmaker, I tend to (humbly) disagree. Film is a language. Its name is montage. Montage, in its purest form, can translate complex ideas into abstract images. Today we wrongly call this editing. The problem in adpating the Foundation novels is not one of translating the written word into significant images. 2001 is the best example around: a two hour long film with 40 minutes worth of dialogue that effectively communicates complex ideas. The script was even written by Arthur C. Clark! We are talking hard sci fi here. The real problem here is NO film studio is willing to make that kind of movie anymore. I wonder, can a film like Tarkovsky√Ǭ¥s Solaris or Stalker -which, truth be told, go in totally different ways than Lev√Ǭ¥s or the Strugatskys√Ǭ¥ original texts went- be done today? The answer is no. Too expensive, to long, to complex. A definitive box office failure. I completely agree with poster johnhorner, a Foundation movie made by 20th century fox (have you typed “www.foundationmovie.com” lately?) will be completely butchered. I think it wont satisfy Asimov-scifi fans or the general public. One has to make the kind of film that the story asks. You either make coffe or chocolate, like it is said around here, not both.

  16. If you all know, the winner of the hugo or was it the nebula award? for the alltime best series Asimov’s foundation triology beat the two other nominees wich was Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Frank Herbert’s Dune, LOTR was adapted for the big screen quite succsesfully, while David Lynch practicly did sacrilige with Dune. With the advance in technology used in LOTR triology it shouldn’t be difficult making the universe gor the foundation triology. I just hope those who will take on making the foundation triology for the big screen will be true to the books.

  17. At the risk of angering the hardcore afficionados, there are two things that make Foundation great. It’s not the philosophy. It’s not the morality. Asimov wrote Foundation in his late teens/early twenties. I don’t think he intended Foundation to be anything mroe than an enjoyable space opera. When he got older and introduced heavy philisophy in his later novels, his work suffered. Arguably, his best loved work is his earlier work. The later Foundation novels with all the Gaia crap are an embarrasment to read and a surefire cure for insomnia.

    Anyway, returning to the trilogy…

    The appeal of Foundation is that it lets the reader’s imagination construct a Grand Vision — across time and space — of a Galactic Empire’s historic record. Whether that vision is marked primarily by philosophy, action episodes, or political maneuverings are all up to the individual reader. For most readers, it is a mix of all three.

    If done right, the Foundation movies can be hugely successful. Audiences LOVE movies which span long periods of time because it gives them a feeling of having witnessed the evolution of a phenomenon. Done properly, as a series of historical vignettes, and possibly accompanied by a voiceover by Daneel recanting the (hi)story to us, the various vignettes would be tied into a grand historical narration.

  18. Here is a skillful way to do a mentalist scene. Have the second foundation “meeting” take place during a transition scene, having them discuss state of afairs while the actual shot would be a panorama of a cityscape or planet. Thus it wouldn’t be spelled out that the conversation was happenining mentally, but implied, and the conversation would be narated while the camera moves in to the next scene. And you avoid the corny laughably unbeilevable scene of people talking while not moving their lips. As for I, Robot, I think it was rather well done, taking mean ideas from several novels and melding it into something new, in Asimov’s style. A good foundation movie could be done this way, but I think it would be better as a documentary style narration, much like the Dune miniseries.

  19. I think a film of Foundation can only be a good thing, even if (paradoxically) its a stinker. Consider David Lynch’s Dune, it was disappointing for the fan and rubbish to the average cinema-goer. But did it generate the publicity which eventually led to the massively superior mini-series?

    I think the same principle applies to Asimov’s work. I Robot (the Movie) was not true to the spirit of Asimov or to his style, but it did a good job of visualising his ideas and made a very entertaining and stylish movie. A Foundation film will surely follow the same example and we can only hope that such a film is created as skillfully as I Robot.

    As fans we hope that these films will ignite mainstream interest in Asimov’s work and ultimately lead to more faithful treatments, probably as mini-series.

    On the point of the film having to have action/violence to be successful, it clearly does not (I don’t remember a lot of action/violence in the Aviator for example), but Hollywood Suits probably regard violence as a banker especially in genre productions. Don’t expect a thinking man’s movie.

    Finally, on the subject of telepathy. I’m sure I’ve seens lots of films that have done this well. Simplistically it could be done by having voice-overs without actors moving their lips (done menacingly well in Babylon 5 for example), or the actors could find themselves in another place (the mind) for such a scene. I think a good dircetor can do this easily. Sam Raimi made a good job of the spider-sense in Spider-Man didn’t he?

  20. Films are NOT books, and as a rule most people
    inc. me who have read the book prefer it.
    This due to a no. of reasons.1.The book allows you your own imagination.2. It has more depth,but as a film has to project information in a short time.3.Films HAVE to make money in todays commercial enviroment, which means compromise.

    The great trick for someone adapting SCi Fi or fantasy stories is to trick the studios into financing the project on the basis that your film will make money. then go ahead and be uncompromising in your dedication to the story.

    Ultimately whether it makes money or not, it will stand as the directors/producers record,interpretation and adaption.Some of the best films ever made, never became commercial successes( whatever the story,Sci Fi or not )

    Well made TV series tend to be more truthful, however this has something to do with the fact that they can take their time telling the story
    properly.

    To conclude, there are many bad adaptations, but
    some truly excellent ones are forbidden planet,2001,bladerunner,solaris,dune( tv series )and of course LOTRs 1,2 & 3.So there is hope.

  21. yoda/mule – vader/mule; trying to fit a square peg into a round hole aren’t we?

    r2d2 compared to Daniel? Daneille wasn’t even in the foundation stories!

    Yes, destroying peoples theories is my job!

  22. Foundation Trilogy has already been made into movies: they were called “Star Wars”:

    funny-looking little man who turns out to have awesome mental powers: yoda/mule

    evil galactic conquerer with awesome mental powers: vader/mule

    secretive band of practitoners of dark “magic” that seek to restore the old galactic order: jedi/2nd foundation

    overarching belief system that good guys place their faith in: the force/seldon’s plan

    meddling robots who have a knack for bailing out the good guys at just the right moment: r2d2+c3p0/daneel

  23. but! Consider this! They are taking one hell of along time to get these movies out! Maybe! They are trying to make this a good Sci Fi?! After all! They did pick this Sci Fi book series to make; why else would they pick this book series if they didn’t want to make a really good Sci Fi movie!

  24. The fact is that the Foundation series is going to be butchered, plain and simple. Movies are made to be accepted by the lowest common denominator, that is, enjoyable by stupid people. Movies also cater to hype. Hype is the lever that moves the teenage audience. The teenagers are the most easily manipulated part of our populace.
    But, But But!
    I know what your saying, what about Lord of the Rings? Its actually very simple. LOTR actually did, for the most part, justice to the books (Although the ending was horrible cut and modified). It was, in fact, a commercially sucsessful movie that was faithful to the books. The reason it could be so sucsessful was that Tolkien was far too wordy with his stories. While reading some of his books you could skip a few pages and not actually miss anything. Don’t get me wrong, its good stuff, but its not HARD. It takes forever to get to the point.
    Issac Assimov wrote HARD stories, stories that get to the point. There isn’t nearly as much room for a screenwriter or director to manuver. For the Foundation series to become a movie, it would be impossible to be faithful to the books and be commercially sucsessful.
    Its all about violence.
    Like the recent Sci-Fi Dune mini-series, Foundation will probly focus on the violence without any clear idea as to why. The movie is going to lack the mental swordplay, the real meat of the books. Ask a studio if they want to make money or if they want to stay true to an ideal.
    And don’t kid yourself.
    Hopefully they’ll be able to squeeze in some of the mental gymnastics that hallmark the series, but true Assimov fans should prepare to be angry, and disapointed.
    Maybe they should call the film ‘Foundation for Dummies: How to rebiuld a empire without thinking to hard about it.’

  25. These books should be presented as three films. One for each book clinging as closely as possible to the story Asimov wrote. We should SEE and HEAR what we imagined while reading.

  26. The Foundation Trilogy as a series of movies made for TV is not a good idea simply because of the intellectual perspective. People watching TV don’t want to have to think, and the people making those shows don’t want them too. Constant interuptions by commercials will lose viewers when it comes to this type of materiel.

    As a production for theaters, my only hope is that they keep in in the format which Asimov intended – intellectual. Made for kids is fun but this story is not written for kids. If a movie must be made, do not make it a SciFi thriller, make it a movie for history buffs and fans of the mind of Asimov. Call it, “Genius”, or better yet – just read the novels again.

    Many of the stories Asimov wrote should be adapted for motion pictures. “I Robot” may not have been true to the story, but it was a fun send up. Several of the other robot stories would make great movies. However,”Foundation” is too complex for the common movie goer to appreciate. Read it again and you will see what I mean. Portions of it could be adapted for great movies to stand on their own, but compressing 1000 years or even 700 into two movies will have editors desecrating anything the director tries to accomplish. The final product can only become fodder for ridicule.

    Movies made from comic books are easy. They are fast paced and fun. This set of books is an outstanding read. But the time jumps and references to historical clues to how to get to the next empire will not fair well with the average movie goer. They don’t want complex. They want entertainment.

    I think my five minutes are up.

  27. I also think it would be hard to make a good movie adaptation of the Foundation Trilogy, but I have longed so much for this so I’ll take it any way it comes at this point.

    I would prefer the three books to be filmed in a documentary fashion and as a TV series (the 14 episodes outline above looks good) such as Band of Brothers. I think the whole story lends itself to a very austere vision, something that will go well with the analytical and intellectual approach Asimov takes in the novels. The Foundation Trilogy is a classic historic drama, just set in a sci-fi milleu.

    But I bet the movies they’re trying to do will be two space action war movies based around the war between Bel Riose (Empire) and the Foundation (1st movie), and war between the Mule and the Foundation (2nd movie). The Second Foundation will be out (just too intellectual) in favor of a more simplistic ending to the second movie. They may even re-use som of the imagery from Star Wars Coruscant to portray Trantor. This would be awful, but that is actually what I think the result will be.

  28. Back to defend the artsy movies . . . well, I guess that says it all!

    Just finished reading “The Caves of Steal”, and well, the artsy movies need to make a comeback(as in the original “War of the Worlds” and “Forbidden Planet”)

    I’m hearing that we shouldn’t make a Foundation movie or make the Robot novels into a movie because why? Because they are not thriller movies? Where’s the logic in that? I can see the end of civilization right now; because 99% of our society ass are kissed and pampered at the movies generation after generation. These are some real piss ass attitudes. You know it is these types of attitudes that ruined the Star Wars pre-quils; because he has to kiss the women and childrens asses, he has to have a kidlet scence, and a crappy love scence(not that the rest of the movie was any good . . .)

    I think I’ve said enough.

    No, I havn’t. More on these piss ass attitudes ruining our childrens future. Because we have to pamper our children(because 99% of our adults are over-protective and numbing our kids to the realities of the world), our children grow up so damned naive minded, and they grow up without any sence of the adventure(hence fun) of the exploration spirit. They grow up with no sence of what’s worth living for, so they grow up evil.

  29. I can’t see books like the Foundation series making good movies or TV mini-series. Too much thought is involved in the reading and there is basicaly no thought involved in watching. LOTR worked because there was sufficient action and adventure to offset the diminuation of the moral and philosophical aspects of the books (movies are black and white, books more gray). If you remove the moral and philosophical aspects from Foundation there’s not much left. Foundation would make a good low-budget artsy type of movie but I don’t see it as big-budget thriller/action.

    And personally I find the convergence of the different Asimov storylines (Robot/Spacer/Foundation) as just too contrived.

  30. No Action? I didn’t notice.

    IMO it will make a fine film. There are lots of situations in the first book (Foundation) that would translate to action scenes that stop short of outright slaughter. The priest led mutiny on the Empire Battle Cruiser is just one possibility.

    I agree that a lenghty mimi-series would be a good way to go but a big screen trilogy like LOR would also be good.

    I wish for it, doubt it will happen but if it does and it is bad, it does nothing to diminish the books, FCS.

  31. I have seen I,Robot, and I have to say, as a Asimov fan, that this movie is not Asimov. It has elements, as a SF movie, but there is no Asimov essence on it: no philosophical or trascendental dialogues, no sciece, free violence… well, even most of Hollywood movies are something like that,I do hope that amazing text could inspire, at least, a good movie.
    Lets see what happens with Foundation (I think nothing good)

  32. I just reread Asimovs first foundation book and have concluded that it is plenty transferable to the big screen; the first three chapters are definitelly capable of being transfered as a piece; then, the second movie can have snippets about the last two chapters if at all with it focusing more on the Mule; the Mule situation transfers well if your measure is action; the first three chapters transfers fine if what your hoping is a 2001 type of movie.

    If they do it right, they will have a 2001 type of movie for the first episode which will put them in movie immortality, and the then the second movie can be the star wars movie we all dream of! They can really knock people out of their pants with this foundation adaption!

    I would hope they come up with a Prelude to Foundation sometime after the first two movies; that book would be great.

  33. TV Miniseries ala Dune would deffinetly be a good bet.

    While I would love a movie, unfortunately these types of stories do tend to get pushed through the action grinder. In order to be a movie, Foundation would either have to do something artsy along the lines of Bladerunner (in fact Ridley Scott would probably love doing the environments in Foundation).. or, Foundation is going to have to trend completely new theatrical waters. You can bet the later, nor the former most likely, would happen.

    Then again, Bicentennial Man wasn’t a horrible movie. If it aimed for a very dark, artsy type of theme, Foundation would probably at the very least be a very strong cult success. What ever happened to movies of principal?

  34. Having just finished the second foundation trilogy (Foundations Fear,Choas, Triumph) not by asimov but very good “I Robot” the movie fits very well into the Asimov universe but you will need to read them to see what I mean It ties all of asimovs books, stories together. if you ask me yes a TV series could be based on quite a few books with a few good movies for the right books. However the peaceful galaxy doesn’t have enough action for the masses

  35. One thing I wondered about, if they made a film of the books, would be how on earth they’d manage the telepathic sequences. I doubt having subtitles over a perfectly silent scene would work that well for the average audience, though personally I’d accept that quite happily. It’s been a while since I read the series, but I seem to recall there’s at least one significant sequence where the Second Foundationers have a fairly long meeting telepathically, which was crucial to the plot.

  36. The thing I would want most to see in a movie based on Asimov’s work is also the most difficult thing to make : Dialogues.
    There was nothing of this Asimov’s Touch in I, Robots (the movie)’s dialogues…

  37. I don’t believe that the Foundation books could be made into a good film given modern day Hollywood as it is.

    Only action films make any real money coming out of Hollywood, and science fiction films require a large budget, and therefore must be action films. These were concept stories, not action stories; the point was, they made you think. Any modern day movie translation would have to approach them from a completely different angle, and hence loose their value entirely.

    A mini series could potentially work. The BBC did an excellent radio series in the 70’s. But then they did the same with Hitch Hickers guide, and look what happened to that when it came to TV.

    I say leave the books alone.

  38. what you got to remember is that this is a movie based on a book. no movie will ever do any book justice. lotr has come close, but even that has big chunks missing, or slightly changed.

    i think you book nerds worry too much about the accuracy of the movie vs the book rather than simply enjoying good films.

    i,robot was excellent even though it didn’t mess with the 3 laws concept as well as the book it’s still thoroughly entertaining.

    i even enjoyed lynch’s version of dune!

    but of course the books are always going to the ultimate source.

    that said, one film i didn’t enjoy was battlefield earth =/

  39. There are only 2 ways to do Foundation successfully, either a mini TV series or a 3 film trilogy like Lord of the Rings. The best book is the first one and is a natural pre-requisite for 2 and 3.I think the episodic nature of the books only really lends itself to a TV series, the fact that there’s little action won’t make for a good movie. If they make it (and I hope they do), it will need to be like Dune the TV series and NOT Dune the movie!

  40. I think the idea of making a number of movies is the best, look at A&E’s Horatio Horblower for instance. But they could of course start with the Foundation instead of the Robots. Also I think they should somehow work in Daneel into the Foundation movie, just passing shots maybe, like Daneel watching someone, so that they can later work on the preludes and so forth.

    I would have liked someone like Aaron Sorkin to be the speechwriter though, if I had nothing better to do, I would have started a protest outside Vinter’s home. I am already annoyed that this guy will desecrate the Foundation.

    Also among actors I’d have liked Ioan Gruffud (Hornblower), Dan Whitford (West Wing) and the like, i.e. actors who can deliver dialogue, something that will be SO important especially for the second Foundation.

  41. I loved Merlin, as well as the 10th Kingdom (made by the same gang)

    If done right, with the right people, a TV feature miniseries wouldnt be a bad thing.

    The mini-series you are comparing this to were also MEANT to be dumbed down as they focused on a family demographic. Entertaining enough for adults but enough crazy antics and goofy costumes to keep the short people’s attention.

    Foundation would not be spammed out to appeal to kids.

    I would rather see a 10 part done right than a two movie deal where 90% of the story is skipped.

  42. TV minisieries? NOWAY! theyre always SO cheesy.
    remeber Merlin? garbage. Noah? it was from the bible and they couldnt even get that right! TV movies always seem to be so dumbed down, it would be a bad, bad idea for foundation to fall into that category: another bad TV movie.

    Two films is better, three books, two films…thats forgivable. the first book is mostly history anyway, The real action starts when the Mule comes in and dirupts the Seldon plan… yeah he wrote it a long time ago but damn, it has suspense, action, love story (bayta and whatshisface)…IA knew how to do it.

  43. I Just saw i, robot and it was great. Even though it wasn’t true to the book, many elements of the book were in the movie and the story was told in asimov’s style. The script was great and the acting was also pretty good. If he does the same quality with foundation, i’ll be a pretty happy camper.

  44. The real problem here is that IA wrote the original trilogy so long ago, before returning to it literally decades later for subsequent books.

    In each of these fine four (five?) prequels/sequels/supplements to the original story, he acknowledged the scientific developments that made certain aspects of the trilogy archaic (as well as his own developing philosophical revision on the theme), while holding true to the spirit and true value of his masterwork. Let’s hope that Mr. Vintar reads those subsequent works, and uses IA’s measured and sincere approach in undertaking what inevitably will be substantial efforts to adapt and update the trilogy.

  45. Someone said,

    “Jeff Vintar is currently at work writing a two film adaptation of the trilogy that will focus primarily on the second two novels with the first existing largely as backstory”

    Bad idea! As someone else has already said, the first was the best. IMHO, the most scientific and interesting of the three.

  46. it should really be a tv-series thing. like with band of brothers. 1 hour shows… 10 or so of them…
    1- hourlong introduction/ phychohistorians
    2- encyclopediests
    3- mayors
    4- traders
    5- merchant princes pt1
    6- merchant princes pt2
    7/8- the general pt 1/2
    9/10- the mule pt1/2 (3?)
    11/12- search by the mule pt 1/2
    13/14- search by the foundation pt 1/2

    it makes for a good box set and doesnt ruin the content of the books by shortening it down. its probably the only way to please all asimov fans, including myself.

  47. This may very well turn out to be another “Dune” — that mess of a movie David Lynch made in the 1980’s. I’ve seen the trailer for “I Robot”. I’ve heard the reviews. It’s a Will Smith vehicle, and that’s about it.

    Mr. Vintar will probably be forced (by the studios) to make “Foundation” pop-culture-friendly, which will spread, like a virus, into casting, production design, editing, and how the film is marketed. I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that Vintar will be able to pour heart and soul into these scripts. Breaking the trilogy apart into two movies is a good idea, but you have to have A DAMN GOOD SCRIPT for film one in order for this to work.

    I’m being hopeful, but I can smell a disaster miles away. Kappur has been attached to “Foundation” for about 4 or 5 years now. Let’s hope his enthusiasm hasn’t been clouded by “The Matrix”.

  48. sorry, but I’m already a bit disappointed; the first book was the better of the two.

    I don’t see why they can’t make it very very close to the original source material as i’ve seen movies that black out from one section of the movie to the other with dates indicating the story has moved a few years; i really don’t see why they can’t do that.

    I’ve also seen movies that don’t have bloodshed that are classics like “War Games.”

  49. While Jeff Vintar’s adaptaion of I, Robot may be inaccurate, I hope he tries to stay true to the Foundation Novels. This means NO FTL travel or time paradoxes, because space travel is accomplished by folding space. Sheesh, any any should know that.

  50. But exaggerating is so much fun.

    Plus the responses I’ve seen from people about the adaptation of I Robot are less than happy … I don’t actually think people will do physical violence on the writer if he does the same sot of thing here, but they certainly won’t be happy about it … geeks are very possessive people and they don’t much like it when anyone messes around with their stuff. And I say this as a geek myself.

  51. While Asimov is a popular writer among SF fans, the technical aspects of his writing are hardly considered canon – so the bit about angry fans is probably exaggerated. I hope the script writer is well read in literary SF though, because making this film internally consistent will require some familiarity with SF raw materials as FTL travel, and time paradoxes.

    On another note, foundation is essentially historic fiction, only with a bias towards fiction. It’s even about history – so Kapurs good record in historical drama can only help.

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