Isaac 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.