Emmerich is Going Motion Capture for the Foundation Trilogy

February 11, 2010
Source: MTV

Roland Emmerich / Foundation Trilogy

Although I'd love to see that Independence Day sequel, it looks like director Roland Emmerich will be moving on to direct Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. It was first announced last January that Emmerich would be bringing this beloved sci-fi series to the big screen and although we've written about it since then, we haven't learned much else about his plans until now. Emmerich tells MTV that "the Avatar technology applies to Foundation… It has to be done all CG because I would not know how to shoot this thing in real." So will it be motion capture kind of like Avatar (or probably A Christmas Carol)? The answer is: Yes.

"Probably now all big movies have to be 3-D. It's not only the effect of 3-D, [Avatar has] just shown that if you do a movie in 3-D, you can ask for more money and that's the trick." I think only someone like Roland Emmerich would admit it's about the money. "I think now everybody who does bigger movies has to shoot them in 3-D. I think there's no way around it. I was on the set of Avatar and I saw how it worked and I really thought, 'That's the ultimate way of making movies.'" Well, he's right about that, but am I the only one who is a little bit concerned that Emmerich's motion capture won't be nearly as good as James Cameron's?

The script is being written by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot) and should be finished by the end of this week. Isaac Asimov's Foundation is an epic saga spanning hundreds of years where humanity finds itself scattered throughout the galaxy under the oppressive rule of the Galactic Empire. Originally published in a serial format as five separate short stories beginning in 1942, Foundation tells the story of a group of scientists, the Psychohistorians, who are doing all they can to preserve knowledge as the colonies around them steadily regress. Sony is developing this with Emmerich. Do you think this is a good idea?

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"Probably now all big movies have to be 3-D. It's not only the effect of 3-D, [Avatar has] just shown that if you do a movie in 3-D, you can ask for more money and that's the trick." That line alone makes me fucking sick, the cheap gimmick has nearly ruined cinema. I could care less about Emmerich and his take on Foundation.

Xerxex on Feb 11, 2010


out of the movies directed by emmerich i have seen independence day, godzilla, the patriot, the day after tommorow, 10000BC, and most recently 2012 i can honestly say i am against him helming movies based on the much loved foundation series. Do an independence day sequel and leave this to someone who can actually convey a story through the moving pictures. The ol' less flash more substance adage

Janny on Feb 11, 2010


I am terrified that this will suck. The original Foundation Trilogy was amazing, and I have absolutely NO faith that Emmerich can do it justice. And the screenwriter of the Patriot? I don't care if he also did Saving Private Ryan, the Patriot had some of the worst lines I've ever heard.

Pete on Feb 11, 2010


I would have to agree with Pete. The Foundation Trilogy is very close to my heart. I feel that he'll most definetly screw up. And honestly, the majority of movies coming out now suck as it is. Originality, it seems, has left the building.

Crakeholmes19 on Sep 26, 2011


I personally think Robert Zemeckis would have been a more apropiate director for the Foundation Trilogy than Roland Emmerich. Robert Zemeckis knows how to use Motion Capture. He's the Miyazaki of motion capture.

Eric on Feb 11, 2010


Emmerich should take a brake from directing after the poor effort of his last 2 movies. Sure he knows effects, but that is not all that makes up a good film. I hope this falls through and into the hands of someone else.

Ives on Feb 11, 2010


finally...someone is going to do a REAL more comic book, pre-pubescent bullsh*t....a real by-god sci-fi best wishes for success on this...

SY-FYFAN on Feb 11, 2010


Emmerich says "It has to be done all CG because I would not know how to shoot this thing in real." Then Roland my boy, you should step aside and give it to a real director before you make a total ass of yourself by ruining this Sci Fi classic.

Hattori Hanzo on Feb 11, 2010


Wow! Did he really say he has to shoot The Foundation Trilogy in CG because he wouldn't know how to shoot it in real? If he's that far in over his head it's time for the studio boss to fire him and go after someone like Peter Jackson who knows how to film such an epic. The Foundation Trilogy is Sci-Fi’s equivilent to The Lord of The Rings Trilogy when it comes to trying film and only someone with Jackson's quality could pull it off. Roland, I love you baby, but The Foundation Trilogy is sacred cow shit to Sci-Fi Fans and if you fuck it up, you career is over.

Hari Seldon on Feb 11, 2010


And here I was thinking that confused look in the picture above was a mere put on for the cameras.

San Shadey on Feb 11, 2010


One of the things that gives me hope is that it ISN'T Emmerich writing the script. Emmerich's worst movies were penned by him an Harald Kloser. They're just not good at writing. Directing, nobody can deny that Emmerich has grand visions and is capable of putting them on the screen. I think a lot of people have a kneejerk reaction to when they hear "Emmerich" and they imediately become depressed and without hope. The thing is that this isn't the usual Emmerich thing we've been seeing for the last 6 years. It's going to be a trilogy, there's going to be more space to explore characters and the tensions. The Foundation universe isn't going to be as crammed as it would have to be if it was all done in one single movie. It'll have space to breathe. It also has "Avatar"s technology involved, which, when I think about it, is the way to do it. Only this technology allows the universe to shine and be what it is on the pages. I couldn't give a damn bout the 3D. If it's there, alright, I don't mind. I don't make a fuss out of it. I think Cameron has at least raised the standards a bit and I think we should all be gratefull of that. So stop complayning, and AT LEAST wait. How many people who feel like punching and pissing on Emmerich know that Robert Rodat is a Foundation nerd? Am I really the only one who has a bit of hope for this movie trilogy actually being successful? Sometimes what I lose my hope on is on humanity, that as soon as it sees a film project not going the way they'd wish, they completely collapse in an epileptic fit of hopelessness and "Nothing can be done" shrugging. Grow up.

JPCaetano on Feb 11, 2010


Yeah... i dont think he gets it...

Dreckent on Feb 11, 2010


What, McG wasn't fucking available to ruin Asimov's vision?

Lerryjee on Feb 11, 2010


Just when I thought there was no way they could defile the Foundation any further they go and do the whole 3D special effects shit. This is a drama not a fucking action scifi fest.

Shige on Feb 12, 2010


wow another 3D movie on the horizon 🙁 and it is a loaded gun, cocked and pressed right to the temple, ready to be pulled, "Foundation". i understand, the idea let alone the concept needs a powerfull tech behind it and yes thank to god JC has provided it. he may have the vision or he may lack it. its an open discussion subject. but there is one aspect that is pretty much solid and Emmerich clearly has missed it. (actually i really doubt he even watched Avatar) JC has not revolutionised film tech with his Avatar in terms of "3D".... 🙁 thats a load of crap of a comment: " Probably now all big movies have to be 3-D. It's not only the effect of 3-D, [Avatar has] just shown that if you do a movie in 3-D, you can ask for more money and that's the trick." Dude!!! wake up and smell the coffe...its not that crappy 3D that makes his Avatar visually so awesome. its the characters's fluency in movement, expression the depth and variety and aliveness of the background, foreground, surroundings, how they interact whith eachother and the characters, mainly Ecosystem, a living breathing Pandora.. thats what he has brought to the table.. not 3D.. lets not do injustice to JC/Avatar by saying oh Avatar was so awesome because it was 3d Poor Emmerich 🙁 He should step down (and even he admits he doesnt have the vision or even an idea on how to do it with out Motion Capture tech to do it in full CGI ) ... sad sad us, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Comic Book etc followers 🙁 if our precious gems are left in such hands 🙁 cheers.

Burak "D'aequitas" on Feb 12, 2010


Sounds good, now just boot Emmerich.

SlashBeast on Feb 12, 2010


Please NO, oh please NO !!!!!!

Tester on Feb 12, 2010


Here's the make-or-break: Who is he casting as "The Mule"? (Or are we going to get a CGI Gollum wrapped around Warwick Davis?)

Sorcerer Mickey on Feb 12, 2010


@17...DAMN GOOD POINT!!!! I think you really hit it on that...most pivotal character in the story...

shotbysonofsam on Feb 12, 2010


this is terrible news 🙁 2012 was the worst film i saw last year. aside from the cityscape at the beginning i cant see the first book being at all effects heavy? @17 yes he pretty much has to be mo cap but again I cant see how the rest is in any way beyond the special effects present in alot of sf films????

rep6 on Feb 13, 2010


I can't decide who's worse: Emmerich or Uwe Boll. Both should be boiled alive with the negatives of their movies.

ID4wascrap on Feb 14, 2010


You have got to be kidding. The whole thing in CGI 3D. What a joke. LOL. He lacks the vision on how to shoot this the traditional Hollywood 35mm film way with real cinematography, real sets, real people, real acting and special FX added in post production. Man get out of town. Go back to film school or something. If you want to make cartoons, go work at Disney but don't ruin "Foundation". What an arrogant ignorant hack. Almost as bad as Bryan Singer.

Magnetic Eye on Feb 16, 2010


@20 You got it. Emmerich is nothing more than Uwe Boll with a budget. Still, his movies may suck, but there are enough idiots out there who'll fork over $9 to see them, so he ends up being a money-making director. And that's what the studios want at the end of the day. He'll ruin Foundation. Just wait till 2011 and read the reviews. Unless the studio has some sense and will actually hire someone competent. I could see Ridley Scott or Alex Proyas (Dark City) doing this project.

FatKatNine on Mar 9, 2010


FOUNDATION TRILOGY is one of the greatest sci fi saga of all the times ... But in the hands of Roland Emmerich ... mmm I´m not so sure if he´s the director for this job. I agree with FatKatNine, Ridley Scott, that´s the one ... I mean he´s able to work with great special FX but he´s able to tell a great story too.

HARI SELDON on Mar 15, 2010


Please ! Please! Please!, SONY this is got to be good ! Not a gimic 3D. Where is George Lucas !! Spielberg !! heck even J.J. Abrams. Crap, even Japanese Anime over Avatar like CG. My son , 12 years old is just starting to READ these great stories and know he will learn the stories via his Play Station 3D and DSi XL 3D game. Great - beat the boss and get to see Hari Seldon give him another clue to beat more Pokimon.

Doug Craig on Apr 23, 2010


Actually, I am not afraid. For those of us who cherish the Foundation novels, I seriously doubt anyone could make a film that would have the same impact on our lives. No matter what they do, it just won't compare to the novels. I have so wanted to convey many of these concepts to my family, but they will never sit down and read it. Maybe a film will create an interest. It worked with Hitchhiker's Guide! But, if it's entertaining, it will be better than most of the crap that seems to come out in the sci-fi genre lately. Meanwhile, even if it goes off from the novels a bit, it's OK. It will still bring many of the ideas and perspective to thousands or even millions of people who never read the books. It will likely create a surge in the number of people who buy and read these books. If it causes a significant increase in the number of people who read the books, it is a great thing - no matter how bad the film is.

kevin on Jul 16, 2010


Greetings, true Sci-Fi fans from all over the world! If you are against the idea of Emmerich screenwriting and directing this chef d'oeuvre, please, join me in my Petition! The Petition in question is first addressed to... ALL of us, *true* Sci-Fi fans, in order to raise our awareness level; next, it will be addressed to Sony/Columbia Pictures, of course. Hopefully, something *good* is to come out of all these... Thank you, in advance!

Silviu Marin on Jul 20, 2010


this sounds like the destruction of another great book saga.

gianmetalbass on Nov 17, 2010


Asimov, Foundation, Seldon and......Emmerich? Really? Seriously? This is a joke right? Crap, it's not a joke. I have read every robot, empire and foundation novel and Hollywood is committing it's latest collosal blunder!!! Such a shame for true Sci-fi fans.

David Boivin on Jan 14, 2011


why would they use "motion capture"? There are no aliens.

Andrew Llewellyn on Mar 22, 2011


 I think, like Stargate Universe where you make people think that its dicey if it will fly. Believe me I love the story but its not a bang bang shootem up story. I hope he doesnt make it one. Asimov rules as far as scifi. But foundation actually starts with Caves of Steel... mixed emotions. I wanna see it done right.

Terry Henderson on May 16, 2011


First let me say the Foundation book is my favorite book of all time.  Probably.  It's up there.  That being said it would be boring as all hell as a movie.  And is there any scene other than viewing Trantor for the first time where 3D would add one once to anything in it?  If you add action you lose the math.  You lose the action you lose the audience.  You lose the audience the movie will be a flop.  Leave Emmerich alone please.  ANY director will fail at it because Foundation should remain as a book and never a movie.  That's just my take.

Aaron Hobart on Aug 7, 2011


 I agree with much of your sentiments.  I see the Foundation Saga as more of a made for TV event (re: "Pillars of the Earth").  You don't have to have the big splash and pyrotechnics that movie goers seem to want. It could be done as a miniseries to really develop the story line as Asimov did.  That being said...they'd probably still screw it up.

Bret on Feb 19, 2012

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