Without Foundation

Dear Roland Emmerich:

I admit I was a tad snarky in my post about your next project. I sounded as if your promise not to ruin Isaac Asimov’s Foundation was insincere. Sillier yet, I made it sound like a good idea for fans to try and hold you to it.

When I was telling Willard Stone about this news item at lunch today, we reminisced about the main points of Foundation. And suddenly the questions started coming:

How do you make a movie where the best parts are guys standing around explaining psychohistory to each other, plus an occasional recording of the late Dr. Hari Seldon popping up to give the boys a posthumous pat on the back?

How can any Hollywood director conceivably remain true to characters who believe things like, “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent”?

If they stay true to the book it’ll be a still life. They won’t need Roland Emmerich, they’ll need Ken Burns.

So by all means — ruin the book or you’ll go broke!

Willard and I will even help by making a few helpful suggestions about your choice to play Hari Seldon. We’re quite in favor of Hollywood’s recent trend to cast top character actors and popular personalities from old sf television series as supporting actors in science fiction movies. But some of the obvious choices won’t work. Jon Voight gets a surprising amount of this work, so much that he’s overexposed. Bruce Boxleitner’s already working on Tron 2. Wil Wheaton’s too young to play the gray eminence, and of course Alec Guiness is no longer with us.

Willard suggested James Edward Olmos. Not only is he fresh from Battlestar Galactica, his iconic film role was the math teacher in Stand and Deliver – who better to deliver the inevitable info dumps about psychohistorical computation?

Or I thought Morgan Freeman might welcome the chance to get in front of the camera again. Presumably events have made it seem rather less science fictional for such a man to serve as President and someone else must be getting those roles now.

Feel free to get in touch with us any time you need our help on Foundation, Mr. Emmerich.