Asimov’s Foundation Set For Screen?

A million sci-fi geeks cross fingers

Asimov's Foundation Set For Screen?

by Helen O'Hara |
Published on

Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, the New Line founders-turned-producers, clearly need a challenge in life since the studio they built was absorbed by the Absorbaloff off Doctor Who Warners. So what better idea than to tackle Isaac Asimov's Foundation, a story that takes place over a thousand years with a constantly-changing cast of characters, and is concerned mostly with the ever-popular subjects of history and maths?

The story is about the fall of a Galactic Empire (no, not that one) and its aftermath. A mathematician called Hari Seldon has invented a science called "psychohistory" which can predict the future for large-scale human concerns (so not whether you'll meet a mysterious stranger, but definitely whether civilisation will survive the next millenium). Sheldon sees that the Empire is going to collapse, and that there will be a period of barbarism lasting 30,000 years, but he also predicts that, with the help of psychohistory and a planet called Foundation filled with experts in sciences and philosophy from all over the Empire, that barbaric age can be reduced to 1,000 years. The first book, Foundation, tells the story of that planet.

But don't worry, the film's moving forward carefully. "This is not a script you knock out in six months," says Shaye, who's looking at doing the whole Foundation trilogy if they can get the first film to work - and with a prequel and a few books beyond the official trilogy, the franchise potential is definitely there. In fact, Prelude to Foundation is probably a lot more cinematic than its more famous elder brother.

The film was originally in development at Fox, which was trying to mash all three books together in one movie, but is now with Shaye and Lynne's Unique. Let's hope it turns out better than Shaye's sci-fi directing project The Last Mimzy. Although it's already ahead on title points...

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