Foundation trilogy writer selected: Can Emmerich deliver?

foundationbook2Now that Oscar nominated writer Robert Rodat, the screenwriter of Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot, has been hired as the scribe to pen the first movie adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, is this production looking more promising?

"He is the most knowledgeable person I ever met about the Foundation novels," director Roland Emmerich said at Comic-Con in the US. "It's great to write with somebody like that because… he knows it. I had a certain idea and he had a certain idea and that together I think will make this a movie."

I had doubts when they selected Emmerich in January. The director of insane, Hollywood special effects mega movies such as Independence Day, Godzilla and the upcoming 2012 seemed completely the wrong choice. He has all the directorial subtlety of a nuclear detonation. A screenwriter with a bit of credibility though can make all the difference and Robert Rodat certainly has that. Someone who is familiar with Isaac Asimov's works is also a good choice. How many times have classic novels (science fiction or otherwise) been butchered beyond recognition when they make their way to the big screen? If there is no attempt to take what is great about a novel and adapt it, you may as well just write something else altogether.

Emmerich confirmed that they are making three movies, a Foundation trilogy based on Asimov's books, rather than just a single movie. Imagine if they had tried to cram all seven of Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels into one film?!

Asimov’s Foundation series tells the story Hari Seldon, a scientist who has figured out how to predict the future based on a branch of mathematics he developed called psychohistory. Using psychohistory Seldon foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire and a Dark Age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises.

"Foundation is my first attempt to do a series of movies," said Emmerich, "because we're developing three movies: Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. It took me a long time to actually wait for the moment where the rights were totally free and we got them all."

He'll decide whether Foundation will be his next movie following 2012 after he reads Robert Rodat's completed script.

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