Apple picks up TV adaptation of Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation' sci-fi novels

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  • Reply 41 of 90
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,364member
    sy1492 said:
    Foundation is one of those futuristic books that ages very poorly as real technology develops. Its like the book branched off one way and reality branches off the other way.
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion... But considering how far into the future the stories take place and the basic premise (second dark ages where people forget how tech works creating different class of techno-priests), I'm struggling to agree with it.
    I think it all comes down to how the story is driven. Using films as examples, if you look at Total Recall (1990), that film looked old and out of place a decade later because it focused so much on cheesy technology, but you then you look at something like Alien (1979), it still holds up even though everything was tiny CRT monitors and a lot of pointless blinking lights because the story had nothing to do with what was essentially background scenery.
  • Reply 42 of 90
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,797member
    lmac said:
    Asimov's Foundation series is thoughtful and slow paced, but also epic in scale. Yes, also a little dated; there were no major female characters. People had wearable nuclear reactors but computers were as big as warehouses. But it was full of big ideas, and would be a refreshing change from all of the dystopian first person shooters that get made these days. It would require a fairly major adaptation to bring it to screen, and a mini-series would be the right venue. It could be done, and it could be quite good. I'm cautiously optimistic about this!
    Eh, a data center is a warehouse of computing. Maybe Asimov didn't describe blade or rack servers but the point is about the same -- big, expensive infrastructure dedicated to computing tasks.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 43 of 90
    The company that made Lord of the Rings was originally working on Foundation and then decided to switch to Lord of the Rings. Sorry, I can't find a link to prove that but I definitely read that.
  • Reply 44 of 90
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,499member
    gatorguy said:
    or closer to a very worthy novel-to-screen like Blade Runner. 
    Blade Runner is a pretty loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel. It's more like general-concept-to-screen than anything else. 
    Correct. The book was short. The world of the movie was really filled in by Ridley Scott, Syd Mead and the art director & production designer team.
    And Hampton Fancher, the writer of the screenplay.
    Of course. His inventions in the script are some of the most creative ideas. The Esper machine and its realization predated popular notions of the Internet and hinted at a sort of ether in which the police could tap into to derive previously invisible information.
  • Reply 45 of 90
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,364member
    The company that made Lord of the Rings was originally working on Foundation and then decided to switch to Lord of the Rings. Sorry, I can't find a link to prove that but I definitely read that.
    And the LotR series coming to Amazon is projected to cost upwards of a billion dollars. So much money that Smaug is their primary investor. Smaug might be a murderous dragon but that's still better than having Harvey Weinstein attached.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 46 of 90
    farmboyfarmboy Posts: 152member
    Rayz2016 said:
    sy1492 said:
    Foundation is one of those futuristic books that ages very poorly as real technology develops. Its like the book branched off one way and reality branches off the other way.
    That’s what often makes a piece like this interesting. 

    I mean, isn’t that the whole basis of Steampunk?
    I encourage people to set aside what you know from today and imagine the world that existed when Asimov wrote this, empire building, fascism, war, etc. Just go with the flow.
  • Reply 47 of 90
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,798member
    As a futurist and character creator, Asimov is as boring as all the 50s dribble for Sci-Fi. I have no doubt many will be thrilled.
    I feel dumber after having absorbed the dumb of this post. 
    anomeRayz2016eightzero
  • Reply 48 of 90
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,460member
    sy1492 said:
    Foundation is one of those futuristic books that ages very poorly as real technology develops. Its like the book branched off one way and reality branches off the other way.
    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Asimov’s novels are as relevant today as they were in the 1940s precisely because they are not about technology but about the human condition. Interaction with artificial intelligence in the form of humanlike robots is being discussed today. Managing the necessity of humanity’s expansion into the solar system and beyond is very current. The Foundation series was about the rise and fall of government, the aftermath of collapse, and the preservation of human knowledge. The science fiction technology was there to carry the storyline, not be the story. I have read all of the Foundation novels and all of the robot novels even to the merging of the two storylines in his novel “Robots and Empire.” 
    tallest skilmacplusplusspheric
  • Reply 49 of 90
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    MacPro said:
    MacPro said:
    Apple will need a GOT or a WestWorld type series to have a big impact.
    No they don’t need that sort of useless nudity.
    History might disagree with you.
    The History Channel? I knew they gave up on actually reporting history–even on reporting lies about history–but they do porn now?
  • Reply 50 of 90
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,364member
    spheric said:
    As a futurist and character creator, Asimov is as boring as all the 50s dribble for Sci-Fi. I have no doubt many will be thrilled.
    I feel dumber after having absorbed the dumb of this post. 
    I think I understand where he's coming from, even if I don't agree with his assessment. Asimov was well before my time and while I appreciate the literally "foundation" he created for sci-fi I found the the Foundation series dull enough that I don't recall much of anything about it. I may have only read the first book; I honestly don't recall.

    That said, judging Asimov's works from 76 years ago and suggesting that it won't make for a good series today is like saying that Michael Crichton's Westworld from 46 years ago wouldn't make for a good HBO series.
  • Reply 51 of 90
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,460member
    Next up? The Rendezvous with Rama novels of Arthur C. Clark. It’s been rumored for years that Morgan Freeman owns the screenplay rights and has been shopping the project out. Those novels remain relevant too because of the recent discovery of the first known interstellar object passing through our solar system, the cigar shaped object that looks like the Raman vessels in the novels just passing through the solar system on their way to somewhere unknown. 
    lordjohnwhorfinmacplusplus
  • Reply 52 of 90
    I would love to see my favorite space opera series, Perry Rhodan, turned into a TV show. The German novels have been released non-stop since the 1960s and while they could do with a little dusting up, the core of it is solid and has inspired countless other stories. Some of the original stories have been translated into English and released in the US. There's lots of action, great characters, and enough plots and subplots to keep Hollywood busy for the next couple of centuries.
  • Reply 53 of 90
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,282member

    gatorguy said:
    Well this could go one of two ways: End up similar to the screen adaptation of "Dune" and because it had so many necessary characters and nuances ended up a mess, or closer to a very worthy novel-to-screen like Blade Runner.
    Okay, 1) Dune wasn't a mess and is now a cult classic; it's one of my personal favorite science-fiction films. 2) My other favorite is Blade Runner, which has little to do with the novel it's based on.
    And of course right you are about Blade Runner and it being a good adaptation. A good movie yes, not so great at mirroring the book. Thanks for the correction, I agree with you. 

    Dune? Nah a definite mess IMHO. 
  • Reply 54 of 90
    anomeanome Posts: 1,304member
    sy1492 said:
    Foundation is one of those futuristic books that ages very poorly as real technology develops. Its like the book branched off one way and reality branches off the other way.

    I would like to see someone make an adaptation of this, or perhaps the Lensman series, or even that supposed Ringworld series, without updating the technology. (Hell, I'd even give them extra points if the Ringworld adaptation had the Earth spinning the wrong way.) Some of the ideas on how technology would evolve are interesting in their own right. Others are laughable. A few of them were kind of close (although, as with a lot of the Star Trek stuff that seemed to get it right, some of that is down to the people creating the tech taking inspiration from the relevant fiction).

    I don't expect most networks or studios would be willing to do that. Apple should take the lead on this. All fiction is in a parallel universe, anyway.

  • Reply 55 of 90
    anomeanome Posts: 1,304member
    eightzero said:
    I am excited to hear this, and am looking forward to hearing/seeing more.

    The original 3 books from the 50s are the gold standard of the genre. However, when Isaac went back to then in the 80s with his newly found word processor, and an editor that would print everything that came out of it, the quality declined dramatically. This happened to many authors IMO: David Weber (Honor Harrington) and Tom Clancy (Jack Ryan) to name a couple.

    This happens with anyone who has moderate success in fiction, particularly genre fiction like SF&F (or Thrillers like Clancy writes). With some writers (ahem, J. K. Rowling...) you can see the shift. Short first novel, slightly longer second, etc until suddenly there's a doorstop, which is usually when the editor stopped paying attention.

    Weber, in my opinion, actually bucks the trend slightly, since his prose gets better as the Honor Harrington series moves along. It's still horrible, badly plotted, and with cardboard characterisations, but he constructs better sentences. (Still, some people like it, and that's OK.)

    The other risk is the posthumous releases from some of the masters. At one point they were publishing anything that had Philip K. Dick's name on it, even if it was really a crude first draft of a different novel. This included a rather hamfisted attempt to tack 30000 words on the end of The Unteleported Man that had been wisely excised before the first edition. It would have been OK, if they hadn't inserted it before the original ending, when it was clearly meant to replace it.

  • Reply 56 of 90
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    lkrupp said:
    Next up? The Rendezvous with Rama novels of Arthur C. Clark.
    The problem with Rama is that there’s no Hollywood story to it. It’s just INTERESTING from an actual science fiction standpoint. That doesn’t sell. There’s no sex–which is apparently a fucking requirement these days. Oh, no pun intended. There aren’t any aliens, just their robots. There’s no sex with aliens. It’s a book about hard science information that makes a quality story. You can’t make a quality story anymore. It has to follow the narrative.

    It’s like in Japan how none of the animators can follow their passions anymore. It has to be “cute high school girls doing cute things”, and so you get nonsensical things like “Girls Und Panzer”, which is a show written by people who really like World War II-era tanks and their real-world mechanics and operation… except the tanks have to be piloted by high school girls. And… what’s another one. I know there’s one about guns where it’s girls shooting guns and one about motorcycles where it’s all high school girls riding them. 

    Any movie these days called “Rendezvous With Rama” will have a cylindrical spaceship and… that’s where the similarities will end.
  • Reply 57 of 90
    LucioguidoLucioguido Posts: 9unconfirmed, member
    sy1492 said:
    Foundation is one of those futuristic books that ages very poorly as real technology develops. Its like the book branched off one way and reality branches off the other way.
    The foundation series is about using a combination of psychology/statistics/math you could predict how large groups would behave and using that information to alter the future towards a more desirable outcome. 

    What world are you living in where technology has gone the opposite direction of that?
    SpamSandwichspheric
  • Reply 58 of 90
    anomeanome Posts: 1,304member
    gatorguy said:

    gatorguy said:
    Well this could go one of two ways: End up similar to the screen adaptation of "Dune" and because it had so many necessary characters and nuances ended up a mess, or closer to a very worthy novel-to-screen like Blade Runner.
    Okay, 1) Dune wasn't a mess and is now a cult classic; it's one of my personal favorite science-fiction films. 2) My other favorite is Blade Runner, which has little to do with the novel it's based on.
    And of course right you are about Blade Runner and it being a good adaptation. A good movie yes, not so great at mirroring the book. Thanks for the correction, I agree with you. 

    Dune? Nah a definite mess IMHO. 

    The clever bit with Blade Runner is that they inverted the plot. The book doesn't focus on the action, it's about what's going on in Deckard's head, like any other Dick protagonist. The "action" sequences are brief, and over fairly quickly, but we do spend some time dealing with the consequences. There's also a lot of background on the society, and the fake animals, etc.

    The film establishes the setting much more efficiently through the production design, and the bits and pieces in the background, and focuses more on the action. Despite this, it manages to get most of the themes and ideas of the novel in, just shown in a different way. So it's a "bad" adaptation of the novel, but it's a "good" adaptation of the ideas, and a pretty good representation of the world Dick built. (I mean, it can't be a perfect representation without Mercerism, but that would wind up being a 6 hour film. Maybe someone will get hold of the rights and "re-imagine" it for TV.)

    Dune, on the other hand, is a mess. As such it's a pretty good adaptation of the book. Also, as with the cinema release of Blade Runner, tacked on voiceovers really detract from the film itself. If they'd had the confidence to not explain everything that happens in voiceover, it would be a better, but not brilliant, film.

  • Reply 59 of 90
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,150member
    MacPro said:
    Apple will need a GOT or a WestWorld type series to have a big impact.
    Well this seems like has more than enough reasons to tick that box.
  • Reply 60 of 90
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,784member
    Soli said:
    spheric said:
    As a futurist and character creator, Asimov is as boring as all the 50s dribble for Sci-Fi. I have no doubt many will be thrilled.
    I feel dumber after having absorbed the dumb of this post. 
    I think I understand where he's coming from, even if I don't agree with his assessment. Asimov was well before my time and while I appreciate the literally "foundation" he created for sci-fi I found the the Foundation series dull enough that I don't recall much of anything about it. I may have only read the first book; I honestly don't recall.

    That said, judging Asimov's works from 76 years ago and suggesting that it won't make for a good series today is like saying that Michael Crichton's Westworld from 46 years ago wouldn't make for a good HBO series.
    Exactly. 
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