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Dante Harper to Pen Adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ for Roland Emmerich

Written by on October 1, 2011 

Isaac Asimov is one of science fiction’s most famous and influential writers, and it’s no surprise Hollywood has continually used his work for big-screen projects. Movies like Bicentennial Man and I, Robot tried their hardest to turn the writer’s words into something appetizing for moviegoing audiences, with varying results.

Sony Pictures has decided to give the work of Asimov the big-screen treatment once again; Deadline reports that the studio has brought aboard screenwriter Dante Harper to write an adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation series. Roland Emmerich, who actually bought the rights to the story in 2009, is looking to direct.

Foundation takes place in a future where humans have branched out from Earth and have spread all over the Milky Way galaxy. Mathematician Hari Selton has devised a method of telling the future using the laws of mass action that has given him some very distressing news: the Galactic Empire which binds all of the Milky Way colonies (and no not that Empire, put that lightsaber away nerd!) is on the brink of collapse. Selton also sees a second and more glorious empire to come in the far off future and decides to encase all human knowledge into two separate “Foundations” in order to make sure that happens.

With seven volumes in the Foundation series, Harper has his work cut out for him when it comes to his part in bringing it to the big screen. And with Emmerich at the helm, I don’t hold out hope for a lot of the “brains” to remain in tact as it changes mediums. Still, it’s definitely a cool premise and more importantly for Sony, a potential blockbuster science fiction franchise. So that’s good, right? People like money and success.

As if that wasn’t enough, that isn’t even the only Asimov adaptation currently being developed in Hollywood. 20th Century Fox is also working on turning his story The Caves of Steel into a movie. It’s too bad Asimov has the crippling handicap of being dead; otherwise, he could be going for Scrooge McDuck-like swims in his vault of money.

Will Foundation translate well to the big screen without much sacrifice? Do you think Emmerich will do it justice?

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