After destroying the President of the United States’ home yet again in this summer’s White House Down, director Roland Emmerich has set his sights on revisiting the world of one of his earlier films, Independence Day. As many of you are aware, ID4 is one of the films where the White House famously buys the farm. There is, however, another sci-fi project that Emmerich has been working on for years that we’re curious about, an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s legendary Foundation series. After struggling to come up with a suitable script, he may be moving forward in an unexpected way, with a television miniseries.
Emmerich bought the rights to the epic Foundation series four years ago, and it does seem like a strange pairing. Made up of seven novels, plus numerous other surrounding works, this is a sprawling work that revolves the rise and fall of galactic empires over thousands and thousands of years. When you think of Emmerich’s films…let’s just say that the man is not renowned for the subtlety of his filmmaking.
Talking to Empire Online, the filmmaker had this to say:
We’re trying to do it as a big mini-series, but even there you would have to change the story itself and set it in a time when the galaxy has fallen apart – and then you’re pretty much making a TV show with all these characters and playing all the scenes out. You can [do that] and we’ll see what happens. We tried so hard [to make it into a movie], honestly, because it’s one of my most favourite books. I just love it.
In all honesty, this statement makes it sound like the likelihood of Foundation happening at all, in any form, are pretty slim. He plans on making multiple Independence Day films, or at least a single, two-part movie to be filmed separately. Beyond that he has another sci-fi film percolating, the esoteric sounding Singularity at Sony, as well as a historical drama that recreates the 1969 Stonewall riots.
That is a full plate for anyone, though at least one of his proposed projects has fallen by the wayside, the adaptation of the videogame Asteroids. Yes, that Asteroids. The film may still happen, for some reason, just not with him at the helm. He said, “Lorenzo di Bonaventura offered it to me first and it had exactly what I like – a two brothers story that was very interesting for me – but I had so many other projects and they didn’t want to wait around for me.”
Given the elevated quality of modern television, and their willingness to tackle complex, wide reaching stories and themes, a series might not be a bad idea. There is no way a property like Game of Thrones could be made into a movie, and HBO has proven to be a fantastic fit for George R.R. Martin’s epic franchise. Perhaps an expansive, open-ended television series is just what the doctor ordered for Foundation.