Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation Trilogy charts the fall and rise of a galactic empire as seen through the eyes of an organization of historians over several hundred years. And it seems as if it has been nearly as long that Hollywood has been trying to bring the books to the big screen. I can remember an attempt as far back as the early 1980s. The most recent though, has been the one that director Roland Emmerich became attached to in 2009. While we haven’t heard much about the project since then, Emmerich did state last year that he was hoping to shoot the film in motion-capture animation.
Well, it sounds as if development is continuing on the project. Deadline has reported that Dante Harper has been hired to work on the film’s script. Previously Robert Rodat, who wrote Emmerich’s The Patriot, was working on the project.
Aimov’s books, which are really a collection of novellas, tells the story of an outpost of scientists whose mission is to preserve history during the fall of a galaxy-spanning empire as mathematically predicted by its founder. The books seem resistant to cinematic adaption as they are very much dialogue driven with little of what one would term cinematic action. As Emmerich is primarily an action and spectacle director, his being attached to the project has seemed out of place.
Dante’s career has been heating up of late. His adaption of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s manga All You Need Is Kill landed on last year’s Black List and currently has Brad Pitt circling it as a potential project. Pitt’s production company Plan B is also developing Dante’s Timothy McVeigh biopic Dreamland. Dante has also done some rewrite work on the upcoming Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
This is the second Asimov-related film project that has had some news recently. Last month, Twentieth Century Fox announced that they were working on an adaption of the author’s science-fiction mystery The Caves Of Steel.