Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Asimov's Foundation Being Adapted For HBO By Christopher Nolan's Brother Jonathan

Isaac Asimov is one of the main reasons why I am a fan of science fiction to this day as well as being an avid reader of genre fiction in general. In the popular media Asimov was known for his popular promotion of science and technology but he was also the author of the landmark, best-selling series Foundation. He was the author of dozens of books and an influence on many authors who came after him.

Jonathan Nolan is best known to me as the (younger) brother of Christopher Nolan, my favorite film director. However, Jonathan has been listed as a co-author on several of Christopher's hit films such Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar. He is probably most well-known for co-creating (with his wife Lisa Joy Nolan) the hit television show Person of Interest on CBS.

I found out today from reading Aidan Moher's wonderful blog that Jonathan is adapting Asimov's Foundation series for HBO. This is incredibly exciting news to me (perhaps even more exciting than the news that my current favorite sci-fi series, James S.A. Corey's The Expanse, is being adapted for SyFy).

Apparently, Jonathan has another project for HBO coming out soon also. He co-wrote the pilot for Westworld, a big-budget sci-fi series (about artificial intelligence) to appear on HBO in 2015 starring heavyweights like Sir Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton. Westworld is based on material written by Michael Chrichton, who adapted his own short story in a 1973 film of the same name that he wrote and directed (which bombed).

The Wrap summarized how the Jonathan Nolan Foundation deal happened.
The “Foundation” series was originally comprised of three books — “Foundation,” “Foundation and Empire” and “Second Foundation.” The trilogy won a Hugo Award for “Best All-Time” series in 1966, 15 years before Asimov began adding to the series with sequels “Foundation's Edge” and “Foundation and Earth,” as well as prequels “Prelude to Foundation” and “Forward the Foundation.” 
Sony Pictures acquired “Foundation” in a multi-studio auction back in 2009 and attached Roland Emmerich to direct and produce. Two years later, the studio hired Dante Harper (“Akira”) to adapt the books. When the project failed to materialize, HBO spent big bucks to acquire the property when it became available earlier this summer.
There's no information about how soon Foundation would be ready to go to air but I doubt it would happen in the Obama administration. I imagine it will depend on the script Nolan can produce and it might also depend on the critical and commercial response to Westworld in 2015.

Still, this is very exciting news for geeks like myself who are huge fans of Asimov and the Foundation!

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