EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has hired Dante Harper to adapt Foundation, the groundbreaking Isaac Asimov science fiction trilogy which Roland Emmerich is developing to direct. Emmerich has been attached since the studio acquired the property in early 2009 when he and former Centropolis partner Michael Wimer won a multi-studio auction as the rights became available. Originally published as a short story series in Astounding Magazine in 1942, Asimov’s Foundation is the complex saga of humans scattered on planets throughout the galaxy, all living under the rule of the Galactic Empire. The protagonist is a psycho-historian who has an ability to read the future and sees that the empire will collapse imminently. He sets out to save the knowledge of mankind from being wiped out. Robert Rodat was first writer on the project.
Harper broke onto the scene with a Timothy McVeigh biopic called Dreamland that Plan B is producing. He wrote Black Hole for David Fincher at Paramount and did the production rewrite worl in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. Harper’s big sale came when his script All You Need is Kill was acquired by Warner Bros. The film is on a fast track, with Doug Liman directing. The studio is out to cast and the film is a priority. Harper is repped by CAA and Management 360.
This becomes the second major development on a work by the late Asimov. 20th Century Fox, which previously … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox, which tapped into Isaac Asimov’s futuristic robot science fiction for I, Robot, is now working on a live-action adaptation of Asimov’s The Caves of Steel. The studio has set Henry Hobson to direct and John Scott 3 to adapt the murder mystery that was first published as a book in 1954. The director and writer are currently in pre-production on Maggie, a spec script that tracks the six-week metamorphosis of a 16-year-old girl into a zombie after she becomes infected and continues to live with her family. Trained at the Royal College of Art in London as a graphic designer, Hobson specializes in creating inventive title sequences for films that included Sherlock Holmes for Prologue Films. The scribe seems well suited to adapt Asimov’s visionary prose. When not writing scripts, Scott builds command systems for NASA’s flagship X-ray satellite. He works with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which takes photos of X-ray photons in deep space.
The Caves of Steel will be produced by Simon Kinberg, the X-Men scribe whose Genre Films banner is based at the studio and who is right now producing the Neill Blomkamp-directed Elysium, which stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley. Similar to I, Robot (which Fox turned into a hit film with Will Smith), The Caves of Steel is a murder mystery that takes place 1,000 years in the future, on an overpopulated Earth where there is … Read More »
Two notable announcements from Discovery Communications’ portion of TCA’s winter press tour:
- Feature director Ridley Scott has signed on for Prophets of Science Fiction, a new eight-episode series for the Science Channel, which will profile sci-fi visionaries such as Isaac Asimov, Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas and examine how their work inspired future discoveries decades before they took place. The series will premiere in the second half of 2011. Ridley and Tony Scott are producing.
- Discovery Channel has greenlighted a Chicago spinoff of game show Cash Cab. Hosted by comedian Beth Melewski, the new series will premiere in the summer. The original New York Cash Cab with Ben Bailey returns with new episodes in the spring.
Studios brought stars and film clips to Comic-Con, seeking geek love for all of its superhero and fantasy projects. While they’re paying attention, how about some of the more ambitious films these die-hards have waited years to see? After numerous conversations with agents, writers and studio execs who orbit the geek periphery, I’ve culled the 15 that came up most often. Some of these will happen soon, others might never emerge from development hell, a few might be just too tough to crack in a two-hour time frame. Given the glut of Comic-Con superhero projects, there’s a refreshing lack of capes. Here they are, in no particular order.
Warcraft. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros have been working on the project since last summer with Sam Raimi. When Spider-Man imploded, it looked like his next movie. Until Disney tempted him with a big paycheck as it tries for another Alice in Wonderland bonanza with its Great and Powerful Oz prequel. Raimi’s next slot is now a race between the two projects to get scripts right and lock in stars (Disney wants Robert Downey Jr., but he doesn’t like the scripts he’s seen so far). The Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft vidgame revolves around an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game’s global following makes it the kind of branded property that compels studios to take big-budget risks. There is also
… Read More »