Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne take on Asimov’s Foundation!

Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are looking to the future — literally. The New Line founders-turned-producers have signed on to produce an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s futuristic sci-fi epic ‘Foundation’.

Based on Asimov’s “Foundation Trilogy”, the film centres on a society that has figured out how to predict the future based on a method called psychohistory and sets up a foundation devoted to scientific research to protect itself and ensure its survival.

 

The politically inflected work, which features such characters as the prophetic Hari Seldon and a villain called the Mule, spans hundreds of years, essentially tracking the rise and fall of civilizations. Each book contains a new set of characters, which has in the past prompted some development execs to say they consider it a difficult work to adapt for the screen.

 

Shaye and Lynne’s goal is to adapt the first book for now, and, if it’s successful, potentially follow the New Line “Lord of the Rings” template by developing adaptations down the road of the second and third books.

 

Calling the trilogy “one of the things I’ve had close to my heart” since he read the books as a young man, Shaye said the project had as its goal locating and creating an audience for the Asimov classic. “Our idea to renew the worldwide audience’s appetite for the story,” he said.

 

Shaye noted that the books’ political themes, particularly its focus on the rise and fall of empires, give the movie a geopolitical relevance. But he also said their complexity would cause the company to move forward carefully. “This is not a script you can knock out in six months,” he said.