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New Asimov Movies Coming

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the dear-god-no-will-smith dept.

Movies 396

bowman9991 writes "Two big budget Isaac Asimov novel adaptations are on the way. New Line founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are developing Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation, the first in Asimov's classic space opera saga, which has the potential to be as epic as Lord of the Rings. At the same time, New Regency has recently announced they were adapting Asimov's time travel novel The End of Eternity. Despite having edited or written more than 500 books, it's surprising how little of Isaac Asimov's work has made it to the big screen. '"Isaac Asimov had writer's block once," fellow science fiction writer Harlan Ellison said, referring to Asimov's impressive output. "It was the worst ten minutes of his life."' Previous adaptations include the misguided Will Smith feature I, Robot, the lame Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams, and two B-grade adaptations of Nightfall." This reader also notes that a remake of The Day of the Triffids is coming.

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396 comments

Oh, the potential (4, Insightful)

UziBeatle (695886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922785)

Sure, they could do the same thing that was done for Dune. Yep, the epic potential of a horrid screen adaption is there. I'd say the potential is high. Pity as Foundation series was classic science fiction at its best.

Re:Oh, the potential (1)

Antlerbot (1419715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922843)

Ooh! ooh! Can we drop these guys and just let David Lynch do Foundation? Nothing like awkward dialogue and unbelievable special effects to make an epic cult classic. And we all know those are the best sort of movies.

Re:Oh, the potential (2, Interesting)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923033)

I'd take Lynch any time over Jackson for Foundation. What Jackson did with LOTR is just unexcuseable. Even my 7-years old son found the LOTR movie boring (some 1:15 into the movie he said "pleasee dad, can we watch something else"?)

I'll never understand why LOTR *the movie* has so many fans!

Re:Oh, the potential (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923127)

Probably because it's fucking awesome. You and your mongoloid son aren't.

Re:Oh, the potential (2, Insightful)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923253)

What Jackson did with LOTR is just unexcuseable.

That's your opinion, and I'll gladly accept it if you can explain how you would have squeezed the entire story into 12 hours more effectively than PJ did.

Re:Oh, the potential (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923577)

Fans of Tolkein on the whole don't have a problem with Jackson's *omissions*. It's his *additions* that were the issue.

Re:Oh, the potential (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923413)

OTOH Asimov should be a helluva lot easier to adapt to the screen than Ray Bradbury's books. The only one big screen adaptation of Bradbury's books I know off (Fahrenheit 451 was IMO mediocre). And the problem with Bradbury's books is that all the implicit poesy and human philosophy of his books are just unfilmatizable (if that's a real word). Asimov's style is more to the point, and thus, easier to translate into images.

Re:Oh, the potential (4, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923581)

Well, I fell asleep after just ten minutes of reading the LOTR books. Okay not really, but I was bored out of my mind. That man rambled on more than my delusional grandmother. I never did get past the halfway point of book 1 because it was like listening to my English prof drone on-and-on-and-on.

As for Foundation, it's not really a novel. It's a series of short stories and I don't know how it can be adapted to a movie, since the cast of characters is constantly changing, and I can't imagine the movie makers constantly changing actors every twenty minutes. The result will probably be some bastardized mess that fails to properly span one hundred years of history. When you have a series of stories like Foundation, it makes more sense to handle it like Star Trek TOS - each episode is a standalone independent of the others. They should create an "Issac Asimov Presents" show with each episode covering a different short story, including his Foundation, Robot, and Empire short stories.

>>>misguided Will Smith feature I, Robot, the lame Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams, and two B-grade adaptations of Nightfall.

I have to disagree with this statement. Yeah the B-grade movies were bad, but I thought Bicentennial Man was faithful to the original text, and I Robot was an original non-asimov story, but still stayed true to Asimov's original Four Robot Laws (1,2,3, and 0). I saw that movie three times and enjoyed it every time. I wish they'd go back and adapt a few more (but this time stick to the text).

Re:Oh, the potential (1, Offtopic)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923595)

The Bicentennial Man movie was great. But you'd never know from the credits that Asimov had anything to do with the story.

Anyone know how Asimov's name came to be entirely omitted from the credits?

Re:Oh, the potential (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923239)

Entertaining movie == good movie. So yes, those are the best movies.

Re:Oh, the potential (2, Insightful)

Antlerbot (1419715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923287)

There's a difference between entertaining and good. Even films that are terrible by film criterion (Plan 9 From Outer Space, for instance - widely considered the worst movie of all time) can be quite entertaining. Sometimes for precisely the same reasons that they are terrible films.

Re:Oh, the potential (3, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922861)

I'd be first in line for the foundation movies.

As long as it was movies. Not the whole thing crammed into a 90 minute movie

Re:Oh, the potential (5, Funny)

Pad-Lok (831143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923119)

I

As long as it was movies. Not the whole thing crammed into a 90 minute movie

You, sir, live in a world of fantasy and science fiction.

Re:Oh, the potential (5, Insightful)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922871)

As science fiction readers we always seem to approach a movie release of our favourite stories with dread.

Why do film makers always do such a bad job with sci-fi classics? Is it just blatant commercialism? Is it that modernisation of a classic story is inappropriate? Or is it something more fundamental - do film makers simply not understand science fiction?

I have a feeling that when Hollywood hears the words 'science fiction' they immediately think special effects and action and how they can maximise those things for the viewing experience. Yet sci-fi books are about ideas. I, Robot is a classic example of the whole point of the book being sacrificed for extra action. Similarly I am Legend for those who have read the book is most thought provoking in its ending but Hollywood sacrificed that for a... well, Hollywood ending.

There have been some excellent sci-fi movies: 2001, The Andromeda Strain for instance, so it is possible. Why do film makers so often get it wrong?

Re:Oh, the potential (4, Insightful)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923051)

I'm afraid it's because the vast majority of the moviegoers out there are just not capable of watching a movie any more if it's not crammed full with special effects and made for a 5-year old to understand.

I suppose 2001, one of my favorite movies, would be a complete failure if it were to be shown to todays public.

Re:Oh, the potential (3, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923503)

I'm afraid it's because the vast majority of the moviegoers out there are just not capable of watching a movie any more if it's not crammed full with special effects and made for a 5-year old to understand.

I suppose 2001, one of my favorite movies, would be a complete failure if it were to be shown to todays public.


Thank you, you saved my day — and, yes, The Times They Are A-Changin', but not to the better these days.

CC.

Movies which missed the very point of their source (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923275)

You mentioned I, Robot and I am Legend. I'll add Wanted, which was based on a comic book looking at how humans behave if they are not bound by the rules of society; instead of the evil, egocentric, violent people shown in the comic book, the movie depicted a bunch of do-gooders trying to save the world.

Any others?

Re:Oh, the potential (4, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923425)

2001 (the book, the film and the story) was basically co-written by one of the best SF authors of all time (Arthur C Clarke) and one of the best filmmakers of all time (Stanley Kubrick). Also, from what I gather, there wasnt a huge amount of involvement in the creative process by MGM (as opposed to the way most films get made today)

Re: Oh, the potential (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923483)

I have a feeling that when Hollywood hears the words 'science fiction' they immediately think special effects and action and how they can maximise those things for the viewing experience.

Not just SF. This year's Jones and Bond outings were all chase and fight, utterly devoid of all the other stuff that makes for a good movie.

Hell, I can't even tell you what Solace was about.

Hollywood movies are degenerating into big budget laser light shows: "Gee that's cool, but...."

Oh, the Grand Vistas. (4, Insightful)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923507)

"Why do film makers always do such a bad job with sci-fi classics? Is it just blatant commercialism? Is it that modernisation of a classic story is inappropriate? Or is it something more fundamental - do film makers simply not understand science fiction?"

It could also be economics. Just how much money do you think it would take to do Ringworld on the same scale as it exists in most peoples heads when they read science fiction? Grand usually takes a "grand".

Ego ... (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923547)

To just adapt something you have to set aside your ego and admit to yourself that the original writer was a better story crafter than you.

PS. a movie or miniseries could never do justice to the foundation series, perhaps a cartoon series with the length of Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

Re:Oh, the potential (1)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923145)

I think any of Peter F. Hamiltons works would make a good series of movies. They are more adaptable i think then Asimov's books, though nowhere near as classic in regard. Movies would ruin Asimov's positive mark on the genre if not done perfectly.

I feel the most likely books of Hamilton's to be made into possibly a Band of Brothers type series or trilogy would be the Commonwealth Saga: Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained.

They are both recent books, dealing with the invasion of a future human civilization by a hostile alien force. But much much more then that too. Personally its not the excellent mystery, action or space battle parts which captivate me, but the 'positive' and 'real' extrapolations of society that he paints, as opposed to alot of sci-fi which paint a rather dystopia or exotic view of the future.

Re:Oh, the potential (1)

n dot l (1099033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923591)

They are both recent books, dealing with the invasion of a future human civilization by a hostile alien force. But much much more then that too. Personally its not the excellent mystery, action or space battle parts which captivate me, but the 'positive' and 'real' extrapolations of society that he paints, as opposed to alot of sci-fi which paint a rather dystopia or exotic view of the future.

Not only that but, as you noted, the action, intrigue, sex and special effects are already in the book. They wouldn't even have to butcher it just to meet their silly N action scenes/minute requirements (or whatever the actual metric they have to hit is). I'd be at the front of the line if they made the Commonwealth Saga into movies.

foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25922787)

After 20+ years of reading science fiction, the foundation is still my favorite. I hope they do the book justice.

Re:foundation (4, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922849)

It definetly was! The epic scale of the book, a conflict spanning a whole galaxy was incredible. I don't know how a movie could capture that to be truthfull... Even Star Wars didn't feel as epic. Not to mention the timescale of the book, with time jumping forward by decades at a time.

Re:foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923401)

If you want an example of how to create an epic story spanning a galaxy, I suggest you look into Legend of the Galactic Heroes [wikipedia.org]. This 110 episode OVA was an amazing work. The amount of story arcs and the pure scope of the entire series made this a role model for how I believe "epic" should be done in video form.

Hari Seldon and Psychohistory (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922795)

Oooh, Foundation - I'll be seeing that first run in theatres and buying the DVDs.

Re:Hari Seldon and Psychohistory (5, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923017)

I'll be seeing that first run in theatres and buying the DVDs.

They predicted that, you know.

Re:Hari Seldon and Psychohistory (1)

tzot (834456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923597)

I'll be seeing that first run in theatres and buying the DVDs.

They predicted that, you know.

Actually, they didn't predict it; they count on it.

The Will Smith movie wasn't based on Asimov's book (4, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922797)

It was based on the earlier Eando Binder short story.

Re:The Will Smith movie wasn't based on Asimov's b (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923121)

It was based on the earlier Eando Binder short story.

After reading the brief description I, Robot (short story) [wikipedia.org] it sounds more like they pureed both novels and took only the dregs.

Re:The Will Smith movie wasn't based on Asimov's b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923139)

Informative? Really, /.?

I'll give the mods the benefit of the doubt, and just assume they all refused to watch the movie.

Re:The Will Smith movie wasn't based on Asimov's b (1)

Changa_MC (827317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923189)

Indeed. It was obvious 5 minutes into the movie that the screenwriters had not actually read I, Robot.

Re:The Will Smith movie wasn't based on Asimov's b (1)

chartreuse (16508) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923141)

Yes.

And surely Harlan Ellison would know that it was Robert Silverberg he was quoting about writer's block instead of Asimov, since he was good friends with both. One suspects the submitter either mis-remembers or is repeating a joke that he didn't fully understand.

The Humanoids (2, Interesting)

bazald (886779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923327)

I actually believed that the ideads not from 'I, Robot' were from The Humanoids [fantasticfiction.co.uk], by Jack Williamson.

Spoilers below:

The plot in which humanoid robots are welcomed into society only to later enslave humanity, in order to protect it, comes right from the novel. Additionally, so does the idea of going to the supercomputer at the center of it all to shut it down.

What you say seems to have some merit as well. I would think that the movie takes ideas from many sources rather than just one, or even two.

In Other News - Dune Remake (4, Interesting)

schneidafunk (795759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922839)

After RTFA I noticed that they are also in the process of making a new Dune movie! http://sffmedia.com/films/science-fiction-films/179-this-time-its-for-real-new-dune-movie-confirmed.html [sffmedia.com]

Re:In Other News - Dune Remake (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923571)

I thought the SciFi channel version was pretty good. I don't think I ever made it through the second movie though.

Oh great... (1)

shma (863063) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922847)

Previous adaptations include the misguided Will Smith feature I, Robot, the lame Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams, and two B-grade adaptations of Nightfall

So why should we be looking forward to the inevitably crappy Hollywood version of Foundation? Bonus link: Maddox reviews [thebestpag...iverse.net] the 'I, Robot' movie.

Bicentennial Man was great (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922869)

If you're expecting anything better out of Hollywood then you're not paying attention.

No way... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25922887)

They should have made a movie adaptation of Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery. THAT would be epic.

foundation unfilmable? (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922903)

one would think watchmen was unfilmable, but apparently early previews say it is fantastic

one would have thought lord of the rings was unfilmable, and yet jackson made some of the best films ever made

as long as they do it right... for values of "doing it right" that are largely unquantifiable

Re:foundation unfilmable? (1, Troll)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923089)

"jackson made some of the bes films ever made"???

Oh boy, have *we* different oppinions about the LOTR series! :-) Just what is it, that makes Jackson's trilogy "one of the best movies ever made"? I found them unbelievably boring! With nice special effects, yes, and also filmed in a nice corner of the world, but the movies were - in my oppinion - just plain boring.

you're either an awesome troll (-1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923161)

or a fucking retard

can't decide which

Re:you're either an awesome troll (1)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923217)

Oh boy, post the you don't like the LOTR movies, and see one LOTR fan calls your son mongoloid and the other calls you a fucking retard - all within a few minutes.

I guess this sort of answers my question, doesn't it?

zzz (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923289)

you could go to a sports convention and say football is insipid

you could go to a chess club and call chess stupid

but you will go to slashdot, and call lotr boring

so whether you are a troll or a retard, you are most certainly a masochist

Re:foundation unfilmable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923417)

I also found the Lord of the Rings movies really boring. Well, at least the first two -- didn't bother with the third.

Re:foundation unfilmable? (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923115)

one would think watchmen was unfilmable, but apparently early previews say it is fantastic

one would have thought lord of the rings was unfilmable, and yet jackson made some of the best films ever made

as long as they do it right... for values of "doing it right" that are largely unquantifiable

This is why I'm sad that a real version of The Neverending Story hasn't been made. The 80's films are just about about as true to the book as a movie about Jesus Christ leaving out the whole 'God' bit... The book on the other hand is FSCKing awesome.

The hard part is that really great movies aren't guaranteed to make really good profits. Maybe there should be a way to fund a movie with micropayments, so that true fans could help fund filming great stories, or something? In any case the core problem still is that there's always more than one way to interpret a great story. Just take the Bible or the Qu'ran as prime examples: There are huge numbers of decent Christians and Muslims out there, and there are some fanatical idiots of both varieties too. All of these four groups largely tap their beliefs from suitably interpreted versions of the same stories.

Re:foundation unfilmable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923495)

I think the biggest problem with filming the foundation saga is the discontinuation of characters.
All the cast, apart from Hari Seldon's hologram are completely replaced several times, even within the same book.

I remember with pain how George Lucas shoehorned C3PO, R2D2 into all the Star Wars movies and how even within the original trilogy all the characters slowly became related.

Keeping to a small number of reoccurring characters is not possible in the Foundation saga. I just hope they accept that and don't try.

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25922911)

This will hopefully make some other kids read those books and i will have someone to talk about them except my brother who is like "remember when you read all those big books? they were scary".

captcha: benefit

This is good... (5, Insightful)

CryptoJones (565561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922917)

As long as Will Smith isn't in any more of them. Between Independence Day, I Robot, and I am Legend I think he has saturated this market enough.

Re:This is good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923201)

The problem with Will Smith is that he always plays "the good guy who saves the world and happens to look like the same person as in the previous movie he played in". Will should be accepting scripts where he can have long hair, be the evil mastermind or at least be someone who has questionable motives. That and he should take some acting lessons, the way how his characters respond to situations are always the same.

Re: This is good... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923487)

As long as Will Smith isn't in any more of them. Between Independence Day, I Robot, and I am Legend I think he has saturated this market enough.

He has saturated *all* markets too much. You can't go to a movie without seeing a trailer for an upcoming WS film.

And the Day of the Triffids too.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25922925)

Well, anything could be an advance on the crappy version made in the early 60's (I mean SEAWATER?). My first thought was that it would be a a pile of turgid American crap, similar to the mess Hollywood made of "The Italian Job", but I see from the link that the BBC is going to do the job instead. Having seen THEIR ballsup with "Survivors", I'm now fearing a similar politically correct disaster with "Triffids".

Survivors (1975) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivors

Survivors (2008) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivors_(2008_TV_series)

Are you kidding me? (5, Insightful)

Badge 17 (613974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922937)

Look, I love Foundation more than anyone should love a work of fiction, and there are lots of people like me out there. That doesn't mean this is a good idea.

Foundation strikes me as one of the least "filmy" books - because it's really a bunch of short stories, each crisis a little puzzle. I fell in love with the books because they were essentially mystery stories wrapped around a gooey scifi center.

This is like trying to adapt three or four Sherlock Holmes short stories at once, all on top of Hollywood's hatred of smart science fiction. I predict PAIN.

Re:Are you kidding me? (3, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923011)

Badge, you got me thinking about this. I want to disagree with you because the Foundation Series is probably my favorite SciFi book. However, my favorite SciFi movie is definitely Total Recall and I think you nailed the reason down for me. I'm wondering how much action there is going to be in this. I'm not sure I'd enjoy watching a bunch of scientists arguing around a table about the inner workings of psychohistory.

Re:Are you kidding me? (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923025)

Asimov's writing wasn't very visual and it doesn't translate well to the screen. Larry Niven on the other hand...

Re:Are you kidding me? (5, Insightful)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923043)

Yeah, this might turn out even worse than I, Robot. The only book of Asimov's that struck me as having the potential to make a decent movie was The Caves of Steel.

Re:Are you kidding me? (1)

slick_rick (193080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923297)

I think story of The Mule could translate just fine with the right writer/director/actors. Other then that I'm with you, I just do not see how they can pull it off. Even Asimov admitted he never understood why the foundation series was so popular with Sci-Fi fans as it has little of the traditional blast-em and lots of good ole dialog.

Re:Are you kidding me? (1)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923331)

Agreed. Foundation (and all Asimov's work for that matter) is much too cerebral for general Hollywood audiences -which is a shame.
A good example of this is the Asimov novel The Gods Themselves. I love how he steps outside the bounds of human experience to describe an alternate reality that is so foreign. But if not for various anthropology, sociology, and philosophy classes I took in college, a lot of the important subtleties would have gone unnoticed.
I don't claim to be a super-genius or anything (just a regular one), but I can guarantee that 9 out of 10 moviegoers would ignore any 'good' Asimov movie, and of those that saw it, very few would get it.

Pitch Black (1)

FX114 (1366561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25922967)

Forgot to mention that Pitch Black was loosely based on Nightfall -- unless it's included in one of the "B-grade adaptations," which I doubt.

Re:Pitch Black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923187)

Ah yes, Nightfall and Pitch Black. It's difficult to even tell the two apart, what with them both taking place on planets with lots of suns, where an occasional nightfall wipes out civilization.

Of course, in one case, people are driven mad by the need for light, and tear their own world apart. In the other, enormous flying dinosaur monsters come out and destroy everything. That's really just splitting hairs though...

Moon is a harsh mistress (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923083)

The moon is a harsh mistress. Only memorable book I read of his. Ok maybe I remember a few things from foundation but barely.

Re:Moon is a harsh mistress (2, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923095)

That was Heinlein, not Asimov.

Re:Moon is a harsh mistress (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923149)

That was Heinlein, not Asimov.

Speaking of authors who's has a lot of really great books, and just a tiny handful of really crappy movies made based on them...

"The end of Eternity" exists since 1987 (2, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923091)

I saw it around that time, and it was great, not much on special effects but excellent in creating the atmosphere of Eternity. Other people want blinky lights and fiery explosions everywhere, but I'd say this movie is similar to "Stalker".

Read here [kinoexpert.ru]

The links there say "AVI,DVD" and "HD,BlueRay" but they do not lead to direct downloads, and there seems to be no digital copy to download, only traces of it... but I haven't looked too hard.

Re:"The end of Eternity" exists since 1987 (3, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923165)

Sorry about replying to my own post, but I found the movie - plays in Flash with reasonable quality. There is also download for some small cash, but I haven't tried that. The flash player has ads, but they are not too bad. There are no subtitles, though, and that's sad because I'm watching it now and the dialog (in the council chamber) is not meaningless.

Anyway, here is the working link [www.intv.ru].

I liked Bicentennial Man (3, Interesting)

Intrinsic (74189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923103)

I thought it was a good reflection of being human. I have never read an of Isaac Asimov books though so Im sure it doesnt live up to the book, but i thought it was still a good film on its own.

Re:I liked Bicentennial Man (4, Interesting)

spandex_panda (1168381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923415)

I too thought the movie was good, perhaps not amazing but it lived up to the book. The whole idea of an artificial intelligence being recognised as human is very cool. The other interesting point was that the manufacturers thought the robot was defective when it was discovered it was interested in art!!

Novels rarely make good movies (1)

Howzer (580315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923123)

Novels rarely make good movies, mostly because they are simply too long and involved.

The good movies that come from novels are (almost always) films where the director has told a different story with the characters/setting of the novel. This is why we use the word "adaption" when talking about novel -> film.

Lord of the Rings is a classic example. It's (thank god) not the novels. Master and Commander is another excellent adaption, again, it's not any one of the 20 novels, but rather an independent story within that "universe". Blade Runner is another good adaption -- yet again the story being told is not the novel.

If there was a report saying an Asimov short story was being developed, I'd whoop for joy.

But color me skeptical that either of these will be anything other than I, Robot all over again.

Fantastic Voyage (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923129)

A lot of people think "Fantastic Voyage" was an Asimov story that got made into a movie, but it was the other way around. Asimov was hired to do the novelization of the movie. Asimov wrote fast enough that the novelization was published quite a bit before the movie was released. Furthermore, as a condition of taking the job, he insisted that he be allowed to diverge from the script to fix plot holes. So, when the movie came out long after the book, and had plot holes and science errors that were not in the book, people assumed the book came first, and Hollywood botched adapting it!

Re:Fantastic Voyage (2, Funny)

oiron (697563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923259)

So you're saying that Asimov botched the job of adapting, by making a crappy movie into a good novel?

Re:Fantastic Voyage (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923397)

And later, Asimov wrote "Fantastic Voyage II", which was the version that should have been filmed in the first place...

I have my doubts. (2, Informative)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923173)

Having read the books wfirst when I was young, and then again when I was in University I just can't wrap my head around it being possible to show it _all_ good enough in 1 film. A series of films or better yet, several SEASONS of tv shows might be a better idea. Unlike some other epics, this one just can't be compressed.

Take Wheel of Time for example; if you cut out all the 'braid pulling', Aes Sedai scheming, and repetitive explanations of how wonderful 'The Power' is, but you better not take in too much. I think they could cut it down to 1.5 hrs or 500 pages.

Re:I have my doubts. (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923273)

Compressing WoT would be like what they did to Dune... Mindgames don't work so well on screen...

Bicentennial Man was a great movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923179)

Speak for yourself. It was a fun, touching story and well done by Williams and company.

Encyclopedists (1)

waveformwafflehouse (1221950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923229)

To make Foundation a movie you need either an entire cast change halfway through or a two part movie.
Not going to spoil one of the best novels I've ever read as to why..

pop-psychohistory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923237)

celluloid is the last refuge of the incompetent

I would have expected 'The Stars Like Dust'... (1)

trav242 (645556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923247)

It will be interesting to see whether or not they will be able to pull off 'Foundation'; My money would have been on a story like 'The Stars Like Dust' seeing the big-screen before one of the more epic storylines. Nevertheless, we could all (well, slashdotters anyway) use a good space-opera, and I'll put all of my enthusiasm behind the project. I'll even make a 'Seldon for President' shirt...

End of Eternity (2, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923313)

I'm not sure how I feel about a Foundation movie/s. Perhaps it could be done but I think the epicness of the books might be hard to match though. However, if ever there was an Asimov novel that I thought would make a good movie, it's End of Eternity. Incredibly awesome plot, while still small scale enough to easily make a good movie. In any event, I highly recommend the book to anyone who hasn't seen it.

I, for one... (2, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923369)

...would gladly welcome some Rendezvous-with-Rama--The-Movie-producing alien overlords. 3D IMAX, anyone? Just like Morgan Freeman promised, but never delivered. Of course, that car crash might have put him out of this game for good, but there is still a chance that I will live to see another adaptation (i.e., made by somebody else]. It always seemed to me as a more compact story, and there is an opportunity to shoot some marvellous ramascapes.

Concerning Foundation, well...that would be a huge task. Too epic. "Just effects" won't cut it. I'm afraid I do no trust film producers enough to believe that they won't screw it completely.

I dunno (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923377)

The End of Eternity might make a good movie.

But Foundation isn't a novel in the ordinary sense: it's a collection of short stories. There are some novellas in the later books, and only the post-Golden-Age ones are actual novels. It's also very talky and lacks most of the space action an unfamiliar viewer/reader might expect.

Also, the original premise (which is later retconned) is nonsense. Predicting future society by analyzing human behavior is impossible because that won't let you predict technological breakthroughs, which drastically change society.

And when we do learn the Second Foundation is manipulating things, the story tries to present them as the good guys. Good guys who shape the future of the galaxy using mind control? No thanks.

Few movies? Little surprise. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923459)

Asimov had many fantastic ideas, but was a fairly poor author.

Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25923531)

The Foundation is impossible to get to big screen. It's too smart for that.

I want some Elijah Bailey! (3, Insightful)

Pugwash69 (1134259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25923611)

If they insist on dipping into the Asimov bank of stories, they can't take the Foundation series all the way to the end without some background story about Baileyworld and R.Daneel, unless they cut vast swathes of content from the storyline.
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