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HBO Will Make Asimov's Foundation

  1. Nov 11, 2014 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2014 #2

    phinds

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    UGH ... by the writer who did Intersteller? That does not bode well.
     
  4. Nov 11, 2014 #3
    HBO rarely makes junk though. I am interested even though I barely made it through the first book. Love the first half, disliked the second.
     
  5. Nov 11, 2014 #4

    phinds

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    I found it all enormously entertaining but I was young when I read it. Might not be as enthralled today, but I always thought Asimov was one of the best Sci Fic writers.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2014 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    I liked the original foundation series though like pretty much everyone who read it I was frustrated that it didn't cover the full thousand years the foundation was meant to endure through. Because of that it felt like a story half told. The second half was a great disappointment, why on Earth Asimov decided to tie all his franchises together I have no idea. It felt cheap, like fan fic more than anything with an unsatisfying story. And it still didn't cover the whole thousand years!
     
  7. Nov 15, 2014 #6
    It's ages since I read this. It would be a strange TV series that dumps it's entire cast and starts anew repeatedly during it's run.
     
  8. Nov 16, 2014 #7
    There ought to be some way of establishing continuity through the series. The Time Vault?

    It seems that a big problem may be making it dramatic on TV, since there isn't a lot of action -- no big space battles or ground battles for that matter. However, there's a non-action genre that has been popular for decades: the soap opera. This includes prime-time power-politics soap operas like Dynasty and Dallas. I think that those could make good models, especially with fleshing out the characters to give them more personality.

    Something that may raise hackles with some viewers is the series's treatment of religion. Early in the original novels, the Foundation cloaks its technology in a religion that it uses to manipulate the inhabitants and the leaders of the nearby planetary systems. This includes installing a supposedly very holy "ultrawave relay" in a refurbished Imperial cruiser.

    It is a kill switch.
     
  9. Nov 18, 2014 #8
    I am excited about this, sci-fi in the HBO format could be a revolutionary concept, if it is done right!

    The long running stargate-franchise wasn't exactly religion-friendly either.

    EDIT: Nolan worries me though, Hathaways "love transcends all" minispeech was perhaps the worst movie moment of 2014, perhaps even of the 2010's so far.
     
  10. Nov 18, 2014 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    In stargate using religion as a way to control an empire was something done by the bad guys. In the foundation universe it's the supposed good guys. Although that is an interesting part of the foundation series: they are arguably very imperialistic. Not just in the methods of controlling various cultures (through religion, trade, technology etc) but also in the goal of restoring an Empire.
     
  11. Nov 21, 2014 #10
    In Stargate, like in Star Trek but not quite so over-the-top, as opposed to in real life, a lot of moral decisions are "black and white", and the result is almost always that sticking to a few principles (honesty, etc), turns things out for the best. In other words, there is rarely any difference between doing the right thing and doing the best thing.

    That is why I prefer Stargate Atlantis over Stargate SG1. The Atlantis team tends to screw up and make things worse half of the time, they're not that ridicoulosly lucky all the time and some of their plans even backfire spectacularly.

    In The Foundation, at least in the beginning Terminus is a weak world, and therefore have to rely on trickery and cunning to have a chance of survival. The Empire, while not "fair" or "egalitarian" in our sense of the word, represents order while the continual dissolution of human civilization would mean chaos, starvation and wars. Sometimes there is no white and it is all about choosing the lighter shade of gray.
     
  12. Feb 15, 2015 #11
    If it makes people smarter, great.
     
  13. Feb 15, 2015 #12

    Bystander

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    Wiki: "As the Mule comes closer to finding it, the mysterious Second Foundation comes briefly out of hiding to face the threat directly. It is revealed to be a collection of the most intelligent humans in the galaxy, the descendants of Seldon's psychohistorians."
    Okay --- I do remember it. Gonna be a lot of money for a flop.
     
  14. Feb 16, 2015 #13

    Svein

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    I shudder. When the Hollywood screenwriters are finished with it, it is going to be a movie with lots of explosions and all the intelligent bits are going to be dropped. Remember what they did to "Starship Troopers"?

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
    Salvor Hardin (in the first Foundation volume).
     
  15. Feb 16, 2015 #14

    Drakkith

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    I think Starship Troopers was done that way on purpose.
     
  16. Feb 16, 2015 #15

    Svein

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    Yes. Thud and blunder - what you would expect for Hollywood (they are making movies for the intelligence level of the producer's pet dog).
     
  17. Feb 16, 2015 #16

    phinds

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    No, they make it for the intelligence level of the average America, who, after all, believes in ghosts, aliens, angels and other assorted crap. They do this to make money and they MAKE money. Starship Troopers was a success, but a pretty modest one since it didn't bring back a whole lot more than its production costs (which were fairly high) and it won an Academy Award for special effects.

    Intelligent movies are hard to make and often lose money. Hollywood is not in the business of losing money.
     
  18. Feb 16, 2015 #17

    Bandersnatch

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    Hold on a second.
    I found Starship Troopers the film much more intelligently done than the book. The book was a ham-fisted glorification of military mentality. The film is, as noted by Drakkith, intentionally subversive (look, living under a totalitarian regime is fun!).
     
  19. Feb 16, 2015 #18

    Svein

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    Oh, another one who did not understand the book. The book is about growing up and taking responsibility. Of course Heinlein introduces controversial ideas, how else do you get people to react - and if possible - think?
     
  20. Feb 16, 2015 #19

    Bandersnatch

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    Oh, don't you patronise me there, mister.

    Heinlein's idea of growing up is that of 'enlist in the army, they'll make a man out of you'. If that's considered profound or even smart then I'll gladly stick with the Hollywood idiots, thank you very much.
     
  21. Feb 16, 2015 #20

    HallsofIvy

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    Heinlein was, a little surprisingly for a science fiction writer, very "conservative". The society in the movie was, properly I think, described as "fascist". The book was not far off that either. Heinlein was the one who, in the book, introduced the idea of having to serve in the military in order to be allowed to vote or run for office.
     
  22. Feb 16, 2015 #21

    Svein

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  23. Feb 16, 2015 #22

    Drakkith

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    That's not what I mean.I think it was purposely subverted just to counter Heinlein's portrayal of society. Not just to 'dumb it down'. The entire theme of the movie is counter to the book.

    In the book Heinlein goes into detail about why things happen and why the should happen that way. For example, Rico's entire officer training in the book elaborates on what an officer is and how the chain of command works. Most importantly it explains why it works that way. The book stresses being a responsible citizen (and soldier) and being part of a larger society throughout, along with being responsible towards those under you, whether you're in the military or not. That's why Heinlein has scenes such as the execution of the murderer in Rico's basic training, his lashing for the training incident (which would have resulted in the death of a squadmate had it been real life), the incident where Rico overhears the conversation between his training CO and Sergeant, etc. Heinlein makes a point that responsibility goes both ways, and explains that the reason federal service is required to participate in the government is that those people have shown a willingness to put aside their own personal gain for the benefit of society.

    Now, none of this means Heinlein is correct of course, but the film almost goes the complete opposite. It satirizes/parodies the theme of the book, turning it around and comically portraying it as 'blind obedience' and carelessness about human life and suffering. You don't see Heinlein having anyone get a knife thrown through their hand just to make a point about 'if you take out the enemy's hand they can't push a button', or executing troopers that have been taken by the bugs. There are no news clips of people saying "I'm doing my part!" and stomping on cockroaches.

    Still, I love the movie almost as much as I love the book, despite them being very different.
     
  24. Feb 16, 2015 #23

    atyy

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    But it was meant to be the worst movie moment of 2014.
     
  25. Feb 17, 2015 #24
    Wow, looking forward to this. Foundation is one of my favorite books, and I agree that HBO tends to make quality shows.

    Any estimate on the release date?
     
  26. Feb 22, 2015 #25
    Counterpoint. It bodes extremely well.
     
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