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Emmerich Plans Foundation As a 3D Epic 283

Posted by kdawson
from the pretty-darn-seldon dept.
spuke4000 writes "Roland Emmerich, the writer/director/producer behind Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012 is planning to adapt Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. The plans include using technology developed for Avatar including 3D and motion capture technology. When asked about using this technology Emmerich responded: 'It has to be done all CG because I would not know how to shoot this thing in real.'"
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Emmerich Plans Foundation As a 3D Epic

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  • Great Books (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2010 @06:26PM (#31121598)

    When I was 13 I came down with a pretty bad case of strep throat. I was stuck at home and feeling pretty miserable. My mother did something a bit unusual, she stopped into a local used book store that I frequented quite a bit and picked up a Foundation Trilogy boxed set [amazon.com] from the '60s. (This was the early '80s) I still bought a lot of books based on the cover back then and I don't know that I would have picked these up at the time. But she brought them home (along with a copy of Watership Down [wikipedia.org] I think) and I dove into them. One of the best gifts my mother ever gave me. I fell in love with them, still have them and re-read them every so often.
     
    I never could get into the newer books quite as much as those first three. They hold a very special place in my library. Hopefully down the road my kids will enjoy them as much as I did.
     
    As for film adaptaptions, like most avid readers I think I will see it but wont expect much. I never expect film or tv to be as 'good' as a book because I like books more. I don't usually get too upset unless someone murders a book I love, which fortunately doesn't happen too often. But it does happen [amazon.com]. Of course the, "It has to be done all CG because I would not know how to shoot this thing in real." quote doesn't inspire confidence. Anyone who says that about Foundation hasn't read it.

  • oh good lord (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smellsofbikes (890263) on Friday February 12, 2010 @06:38PM (#31121762) Journal
    I know how to film it. You take some ACTORS and you have them ACT and you point a camera at them, and then you have a movie. Asimov was a writer, not a zero-attention-span adrenaline junkie. Just about every scene in the first three Foundation books is people talking, and that's all it is, and more to the point, that's precisely why it's amazingly good. You could have the spaceships made out of cardboard cutouts being held by cute Asian girls and it would only marginally impact the flow of Asimov's story. GAH.
  • Please! Nooooo! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 12, 2010 @07:07PM (#31122128)

    It's going to be like a train wreck...something that one can't bear to watch, and yet one can't tear one's eyes away from.

    For example, qoting from http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=59905#:

    "On the other end, the "Foundation" is a similar problem in that you have all these short stories and then they were combined into a book and so in a way there is not one character and I spoke with the Rob and he said we have to consolidate the characters..."

    So here you have this epic story that deliberately spans the generations to show how Seldon's grand plan is being played out (ignoring all the 'other' fuondations books that sort of watered things down) and Emmerich is going to "consoldiate the characters." WTF? Lazarus Long will be taking the starring role perhaps ;-)

    Thisgs to look forward to, perhaps:

    Maybe we'll see Salvor Hardin kicking Prince Regent Wienis' teeth out in a thrilling fight scene (can't see Emmerich taking the maxim "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" on board!).

    Maybe we'll see Bel Riose blowing everything up as he closes in on Trantor. Lots of opportunity for a car chase (sorry...space battle...) scene here...

    We can watch the Mule torture Captain Han Pritcher (in close up) into submission. Imagine the fun of seeing blood trickle down from Pritcher's nose and then realise (with a shock) that a burst blood vessel in his nose actually signifies how his will has been broken.

    Maybe we'll see a bit of girl-on-girl action between Arkady Darrel and Lady Callia? In 3D!

    No. No and thrice NO, I say!

    Let's start up a "NO Foundation Film" petition!

  • by Logic Bomb (122875) on Friday February 12, 2010 @07:09PM (#31122154)

    These are absolutely some of my very favorite books. But as I recall, Asimov's own foreword to the original trilogy makes the idea of a movie series seem pretty stupid. He started Foundation as a series of short stories. Years later, when a publisher was trying to persuade him to make a longer Foundation work, Asimov had to go back and re-read the material. He reports that, as he sat there reading, he kept waiting for something to happen in the story. He was right (of course): Foundation is mostly people have discussions. What kind of movie can you make out of that?

  • by rleibman (622895) on Friday February 12, 2010 @07:11PM (#31122174) Homepage
    I deeply disliked I Robot as. But let it be said that Robyn Asimov, who I assume knew her dad pretty well, commented that the dear Doctor would have liked the movie, because he thought that the only way his cerebral stories could make it to the screen was as complete rewrites (story here) [sfgate.com]
  • by theolein (316044) on Friday February 12, 2010 @07:20PM (#31122326) Journal

    The Foundation Trilogy was one of the first major SF books I read, back in the late 70's. I had the trilogy with the Chris Foss [chrisfossart.com] covers. Those covers evoked in me a deep feeling of time and distance and that was what put me onto SF as a genre. The very first Star Wars, with the minimalist desert scenes filmed in Tunisia, also had some of that. While I enjoyed ID4 and Stargate as mindless feel good SF action films, almost everything Emmerich does is exactly the same thing, huge disasters with a strange lack of coherence between the characters shallow, happy smiling faces and the tragedy of what is happening around them.

    I am devastated that Roland Emmerich will be murdering one of my childhood icons with his facile plots. It makes me truly sad.

    I would like to see Neil Blomkamp produce and direct the trilogy. he's one of the few directors who hasn't been corrupted by the Hollywood feel-good virus and will let his hero be a loser. I would really like to be amazed again.

  • Don't forget, Hari Seldon's solution included the reduction of 10,000 years of barbarism to 1,000. I started counting at 2000. Only 990 years to go!

  • Sky Captain Style (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AP31R0N (723649) on Friday February 12, 2010 @10:25PM (#31123924)

    i'd do this Sky Captain style. Real actors, CG environment, 50's looking gadgets. i'd do it as a TV series so you could give it the time it needs.

  • by Garwulf (708651) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @10:52AM (#31127332) Homepage

    Surely I can't be the only one who got REALLY worried when I read this part of the interview: "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."

    It really seems to me that this is proof that Emmerich has missed the point here. 3D is a wonderful tool for telling stories, but the story has to be there first. I've been a fan of movies all my life, and many of the most impressive movies I've seen were done on a very low budget - what made them impressive was that they told really good stories, or they told their story really well.

    To take an example of the first: Moon. If you haven't seen it, see it. It's an amazing movie, a mind-blowing story, and it was done with a budget of all of $5 million. Another example: Cube. That's a very effective and extremely imaginative SF horror movie, with a budget of a grand total of around $365,000.

    But, what about a larger story? One with lots of pyrotechnics, battles, etc. Well, besides the fact that each Lord of the Rings movie came in at $90 million only - making them now cheaper than most other event movies - I present for your consideration Underworld. It doesn't have a mind-blowing story - it's a pretty basic one, although it is well-told - but it does have a centuries-old war between vampires and werewolves, and it was incredibly stylish with very good effects, and an emphasis on story. Its budget? Around $22 million.

    Emmerich's comment about how 3D will be very good at shaking loose more money worries me a great deal. I'm afraid that we're going to see lots of big event movies that are all computer FX, and lacking in craft or storytelling. Sure, you'll see the money on the screen, but part of creativity in moviemaking is coming up with new ways to tell stories, and limited budgets are often a good thing - they force the filmmaker to concentrate on the important parts of the movie, rather than getting distracted by the FX sequences. Now we're looking at 3D for the sake of 3D - or even worse, for the sake of getting money to do 3D - rather than 3D because that's the best way to tell the story.

    (Aside from which, am I the only one who thinks that a few too many people are talking about FX allowing them to do things they couldn't do before, particularly when their examples ARE things that have been done before, and done well? Sure, there are stories that are probably unfilmable, such as Dante's Divine Comedy, but that's mainly because it's more travelogue than story - all the visual effects could have been done for that by Ray Harryhausen forty years ago. Seriously, if King Kong could do it in 1933, it wasn't impossible before computers.)

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.

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