It’s finally happening…Isaac Asimov’s seminal novel trilogy Foundation will become a series, now that Apple has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order from Skydance.
The history of Foundation being adapted spans many years and many studios, most trying to squeeze the novels into a feature film, with may writers and producers attached including Dante Harper and Roland Emmerich at Sony, and Jeff Vintar.
Skydance will take a shot on Asimov’s Foundation, David Goyer and Josh Friedman to adapt as TV series
We’ve been following attempts at producing some form of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels into some form of video media – it has long been considered “unfilmable”, given the complex stories and long time span they cover. We’ve been waiting pretty much since we started this site 17 years ago. We’ve seen various writers, producers, directors and studios involved, most recently with Sony and Roland Emmerich involved starting in 2009, and adding Dante Harper (Alien: Covenant) in 2011 as a writer followed by Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar). And like every other attempt, it vaporized.
Now Skydance Television wants a shot at it, and they are putting up David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman as collateral.
According to Deadline, Skydance is aiming at a TV series, with Goyer (Man of Steel) and Friedman (Avatar 2) working on a script. The Foundation series of novels center around mathematician Hari Seldon, who develops a new system of mathematics called “psychohistory”, which can model at a grand scale what will happen in the future – and Seldon discovers that the Galactic Empire, which consists of humans populating millions of other worlds, is in danger of imminent collapse and could lead to a Dark Age that could last thousands of years.
Interestingly, the Deadline article mentions one of the difficulties of adapting Foundation is because of Star Wars – because the latter was influenced by Asimov’s themes and the similarities would make it appear like a ripoff – even though Foundation‘s origins were in short stories published starting in 1942. And with Star Wars finding a massive resurgence, that could even make it more difficult – or an easier sell.
It has a long, very steep trajectory out of the gravity well still, but here’s hoping.
Some tidbits as I get a break from vacation/traveling…
On the movie front, Oprah Winfrey is near set to star as Mrs. Which in a new adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time to be directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma) for Disney. Amy Adams and Kevin Hart are also in talks.
Speaking of Disney, Disneyland is about to rebuild it’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction with a whole new theme based on Guardians of the Galaxy. The new attraction will be called “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout” and be ready for next summer. Here is a video of Joe Rhode explaining the attraction:
Also on the Disney park front, if you can get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida, you have to check out the “Star Wars Galactic Spectacular” fireworks and light show. It is AMAZING!
The new Captain Marvel has been announced, and it will be Brie Larson. Kevin Feige made the announcement at Comic Con, but wouldn’t say what movie she might first appear in.
Syfy renewed Wynonna Earp for a second season.
Lastly, Fox has tapped Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to adapt Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, which has been in the works for a few years with Simon Kinberg with Henry Hobson. Ironically, Akiva Goldsman co-wrote 2004’s I, Robot, which is often mistaken as an Asimov story due to similar themes with a collection of stories Asimov wrote with the same title, but the movie was based on a short story by Eando Bender.
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation stories seem to have long been a pipe dream of SF-aware producers to get to the big screen…even the latest developments have been long dormant, when Sony won the bidding war almost 3 years ago for the rights after Warner Bros. let them lapse, and it was previously in development with Fox. Well at last there is movement again, with Sony Pictures announcing that Dante Harper has been hired to adapt it.
Harper appears to be relatively new on the writing scene, working on Black Hole for David Fincher/Paramount (based on the graphic novel by Charles Burns), and rewrote the upcoming Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for Paramount/MGM/Spyglass. Roland Emmerich is still set to direct.
The Foundation series of novels center around mathematician Hari Seldon, who develops a new system of mathematics called “psychohistory”, which can model at a grand scale what will happen in the future – and Seldon discovers that the Galactic Empire, which consists of humans populating millions of other worlds, is in danger of immanent collapse and could lead to a Dark Age that could last thousands of years.
Fox, having previously produced I, Robot based on the stories by legendary SF writer Isaac Asimov, will draw from the author again with his novel The Caves of Steel. Relative newcomers Henry Hobson and John Scott 3 (Maggie) will direct and write, respectively, and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Elysium) will produce under his Genre Films banner.
The Caves of Steel takes place three millenia in the future, where humans on the overpopulated Earth live in massive enclosed structures (giving the name to the book), and distrust robots to the point of them being completely banned from the planet. Robots aren’t banned on the colonized planets, however, and a “Spacer” ambassador trying to loosen the restrictions on Earth is found murdered. Homicide detective Elijah Bailey is charged to investigate the murder – but he is forced to team up with an investigator provided by the Spacers – R. Daneel Olivaw, who looks human but is in fact a robot.
We haven’t heard anything in a while since Paul Greengrass left the project, but James Cameron’s Fantastic Voyage remake finally has a new director: Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum). And surprise! It’s going to be 3D…it’s been about nine years since Cameron got his hands on the project…
Despite a lot of excitement that he was in discussions with producers Jon Landau and James Cameron on a remake of Fantastic Voyage, Bourne trilogy director Paul Greengrass has opted to focus on a Treasure Island project for Lionel Wigram (Sherlock Holmes) instead.
The Thunder Child webzine has begun experimenting with Hubpages, and to that end we’ve uploaded an article about Willy Ley there.
Willy Ley, one of the founders of the German Rocket Society and an acknowledged expert on the subject, left Germany as soon as Hitler came to power (out of conviction rather than fear, as he wasn’t Jewish) and eventually settled in the US, where he became friends with Isaac Asimov and a host of science fiction writers, wrote science essays for Galaxy, and so on.
Check the article out at http://hubpages.com/hub/Willy-Ley-Science-Popularizer-Extraordinaire.
Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day) and Sony/Columbia have won the bidding war to finally bring Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, with Emmerich and his partner Michael Wimer producing. Emmerich also has a remake of Fantastic Voyage (for which Asimov wrote the novelization based on the original screenplay) on his plate (although perhaps consigned to development hell), and 2012, about the apocalypse predicted by the Mayan calendar, coming out this year, although its release has been delayed until November 13th.