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Asimov’s Foundation Becoming A Movie

foundationIsaac Asimov is most often associated with robotics, for which he developed the three laws. But the sci-fi author’s real masterwork isn’t really focused on mechanoids, and if you haven’t, you should probably read Foundation. Or now, maybe you can just wait for the movie.

Sony Pictures has announced that they’re turning the first book in Asimov’s galaxy-spanning Foundation series into a movie. They’ve hired a mostly unknown writer named Dante Harper to adapt it, and presumably will decide on whether or not to greenlight it based in part on what he comes up with.

For the uninitiated, Foundation’s premise involves a genius mathematician named Hari Seldon who develops a way to predict the future, based on the idea that the larger the mass of people involved the more predictable their future is. Using that knowledge he forsees the fall of the human race, and so sets a series of things in motion in an attempt to save humanity.

But that’s really just the larger goal of what’s going on, most of the story is told on a much smaller scale, from the perspective of the individuals caught up in Seldon’s grand plan. And it’s brilliant. Think of it like a series of short stories separated by centuries which all collect together to form one, wonderful whole. Now imagine a whole series of movies which do the same thing, and there’s the potential here to do something really cool. Assuming of course, Hollywood doesn’t botch it.

That might be too big an assumption. After all the last time Hollywood tried to adapt Asimov the result was I, Robot. Since they’ve hired an untested writer to do Foundation, there’s no way to know what the heck they’re thinking here. Asimov does suddenly seem to be all the rage though. This is the second Asimov project to go into pre-production this year. Back in September we learned that Fox is adapting Asimov’s Caves of Steel into a feature film.

Comments

  • WT

    Ummmmm . . . . the Foundation was ALL about a robot.

    Without spoiling anything may I be so bold as to suggest a review of the life and continuing times of R. Giskard, R. Daneel and the Zeroth Law Of Robotics?

    I’m just sayin’ . . . . 

    • JT

      No the Foundation series is about psychohistory.  It’s not focused around the laws of robotics. Unless you’re referring to some of his laws of robotics books which are set in the Foundation universe?  Those are set in the same universe but they aren’t really part of the Foundation series.

      • dave b.

        WT is right. JT isn’t. The 5th book in the Foundation series “Foundation and Earth” chapter 101 brings it all together.

        • Trantoriana

          Foundation and Earth is after Foundation trilogy, this book was the first book of the series that merged it with Asimov’s Robot series… Is the bridge between the series
          -Sorry for my bad english

      • Phillip Woon

        However, if you read the WHOLE of the Foundation series, you realize that the whole thing was set in motion by R. Daneel Olivaw.

  • Curiosity2

    the earliest reference to psychohistory outside of the foundation series i found was in “the robots of dawn”.  i believe there were references in other stories as well.  i am wary about hollywood destorying another story by asimov. i, robot was a farce.  i could imagine isaac kicking in his grave. i have a hard time seeing foundation as a movie since it covers such a large time span, unless hollywood is gonna focus on just a small part of the story.