Roland Emmerich wants to do what now with Asimov's Foundation?

Contributed by
Sep 18, 2013

Director Roland Emmerich has been looking to bring Isaac Asimov's sci-fi landmark Foundation to the screen for a few years now, and he may have reached a turning point.

The man behind such destruction-filled epics as Independence Day, 2012 and the recent White House Down first won the rights to Asimov's legendary series of stories more than four years ago, but has had trouble coming up with a script that could work on the big screen.

After all, Asimov's deeply sociological saga about a plan to guide a galactic human empire through an extended period of darkness is not exactly cinematic -- or at least, not a story that could be turned into an action thrill ride -- and Emmerich's movies are not renowned for their intellectual richness.

Speaking with Empire Online, Emmerich -- whose next film is the sequel to Independence Day -- has admitted that Foundation may now never happen, but added that he is attempting to make it work through a different medium: 

"We're trying to do it as a big mini-series, but even there you would have to change the story itself and set it in a time when the galaxy has fallen apart -- and then you're pretty much making a TV show with all these characters and playing all the scenes out. You can (do that) and we'll see what happens. We tried so hard (to make it into a movie), honestly, because it's one of my most favorite books. I just love it."

We're not sure we understand what Emmerich is saying about why the story would have to changed, but the idea of doing Foundation as a mini-series is an intriguing one. 

Smaller, character-based dramas -- and particularly adaptations -- within genre settings have been working like gangbusters on cable (think The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones). They allow time to let the story expand and develop organically, and don't come with the pressure of having to deliver the kind of spectacular set pieces or visual effects every 10 minutes that most modern movie tentpoles seem to require. Foundation might be much more suitable for that approach, and with seven novels to draw from, could run for years.

We're still not sure if Emmerich is the right guy for this, but do you think Foundation could work better on TV than the big screen?

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker