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Thursday, July 31, 2008
Foundation And Hollywood
Asimov's work has been largely ignored by Hollywood when looking for movie script material. While there have been a few good "thinking man's sci fi" in film, there's still this perception that science fiction is all about fantasy action sequences with lasers and exploding spaceships suitable for summer popcorn flicks. Asimov's stories generally aren't like that, and there have been very few movies made from his books (despite the fact that he wrote hundreds of them). The epic Foundation series has been ignored by filmmakers... until now. They're about to make a Foundationmovie.
I cringe to think how they'd ruin the story if they went with the "sci-fi action" angle. While Hollywood did a semi-decent job with The Bicentennial Man, I still have bitter memories of how they mangled I, Robot ("Hey I'm Will Smith, look at me shoot at robots in my product placement automobile!"). There aren't many places you can insert an action sequence. After all, violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Still, there's a possibility it won't suck. Peter Jackson and Christopher Nolan did a remarkable job of interpreting books (and comic books) to film. I hope that Foundation gets the same respectful treatment. Just keep Michael Bay or Brett Ratner away from it.