Roland Emmerich To Turn Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ Into ‘Avatar’?
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The names Roland Emmerich and Isaac Asimov are about as opposite as two elements of the same basic spectrum can be.

Emmerich is known for his massive end of the world disaster films like Independence Day and 2012, but has also faced much criticism for his lack of other crucial story elements, specifically with titles like Godzilla, 10,000 B.C., and The Day After Tomorrow. Asimov is a legendary author and a master of the realms of science fiction literature. He has written over 500 books and was also a professor of biochemistry at Boston University, just to note a couple of his awe-inspiring lifetime accomplishments. His most popular work as an author are his seven-book creation known as the Foundation series.

So what do these two have in common? Well, Roland Emmerich is currently the man who holds the arduous task of trying to adapt Asimov’s Foundation into blockbuster movies, of course! And with the knowledge that Emmerich is the man handling this, one of the most classic of series in science fiction literature, fans of Asimov may not want to read further.

In a chat with MTV, Emmerich has revealed his plans for what is to become a trilogy of films, and yes, it does involve lots of CGI and that oh-so-popular 3D treatment. The director was also open and content with his goals to use James Cameron’s Avatar as the blueprint for his Foundation movies.

The Avatar technology applies to Foundation. It has to be done all CG because I would not know how to shoot this thing in real.

Probably now all big movies have to be 3-D. It’s not only the effect of 3-D, [Avatar has] just shown that if you do a movie in 3-D, you can ask for more money and that’s the trick. I think now everybody who does bigger movies has to shoot them in 3-D. I think there’s no way around it. I was on the set of Avatar and I saw how it worked and I really thought, ‘That’s the ultimate way of making movies.’

This won’t be the first time that something at least Asimov-inspired has touched the Silver Screen: director Alex Proyas has two movies — i, Robot and Knowing — that are born from the brain of Asimov. Knowing is actually something of its own take on the Foundation series, as it were.

So, my friends — is all of this crazy new technology the only way that something, like Asimov’s Foundation can be brought to film, or is this going to be a too far, too much situation?

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  1. in my experience i usually enjoy but rarely love movie adaptations of any book (that i’ve read) being made into a movie/TV, but can keep them separate in my mind and enjoy a movie/TV show on it’s own merits. i’m well aware that the two different formats have to be altered to succeed in their own way. even though i usually don’t approve, i am more or less happy that a good story had been chosen to be made into a new format, i see it as an addition to the “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” way of thinking.

    for example the movie I, Robot was so different form the book it shouldn’t even have been allowed to keep the same name, if you were actually expecting to see the book on the screen. but if seen from the POV of somebody who might never read the book & not know the difference it’s just another scifi movie they might enjoy (even with the shaky storytelling). or look at LOTR, a story so full of action & adventure that reading it the mind can’t help but imagine what the sounds & visuals would look like yet so big few believed a movie version could do it justice, until Peter Jackson proved them all wrong.

    that being said i feel any attempt to make the classic Foundation series into a movie is one of the worst ideas ever! some things should simply never be messed with. the story, for all it’s scifi aspects, wars & conflicts, is at it’s heart a tale that exists better in words alone. i’ve always said Foundation is not so much science fiction as it is social fiction. leading the readers to ponder human ways of thinking and interactions. forcing us to think about our own ability to have and use (or not use) free will.

    any movie, be it one or a trilogy, or even 5 seasons of TV based on Foundation will NEVER be seen by my eyes.

    Comment by Dax — February 15, 2010 @ 5:35 am

  2. All the tech is fine but don’t sway far from the source material.

    Comment by Joseph — February 15, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  3. Ok, take a series of books that are all about “permutations and reversals of ideas” — ideas about history and destiny, mind you — and turn that into Avatar?

    Ummm… how about we buy tickets to make sure that movie is never made?

    Comment by Dr. Geek, Ph.D. — February 15, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  4. Take away that mans reading glasses. Avatar meets Asimov? Issac comes before the Navii alphabetically for a reason. This sounds disastrous for all but the weak of mind.

    Comment by Philip Marshall — February 15, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

  5. @Dr. Geek
    I think that’s a perfect suggestion!

    Comment by Empress Eve — February 15, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

  6. As an Australian science fiction writer I agree with the general sentiment that it would be a mistake to make a movie or series of movied based on Asimov’s Foundation series.

    If you get a chance maybe check out my latest offerings:




    Comment by David Scholes — February 16, 2010 @ 12:29 am

  7. Someone shoot emmerich before he rapes a masterpiece.

    Comment by flakeyfoont — February 26, 2010 @ 5:29 am

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