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'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' Writer Dante Harper To Lay 'Foundation' Down For Roland Emmerich

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 30, 2011 at 10:58AM

Believe it or not, advance word on Roland Emmerich's Shakespeare conspiracy movie "Anonymous" is actually good. We shit you not. And while the movie is a bit of a departure for the usually disaster-happy director, lately he's surrounding himself with projects that are more in line with his established oeuvre. Up next he's got the epic and somewhat secretive "Singularity," which already has a May 17, 2013 release date. And oh yeah, he was also offered "Asteroids" this summer (though it doesn't seem like he's taken it). But alas, on the backburner for a couple of years now has been an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's classic "Foundation" series.
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Believe it or not, advance word on Roland Emmerich's Shakespeare conspiracy movie "Anonymous" is actually good. We shit you not. And while the movie is a bit of a departure for the usually disaster-happy director, lately he's surrounding himself with projects that are more in line with his established oeuvre. Up next he's got the epic and somewhat secretive "Singularity," which already has a May 17, 2013 release date. And oh yeah, he was also offered "Asteroids" this summer (though it doesn't seem like he's taken it). But alas, on the backburner for a couple of years now has been an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's classic "Foundation" series.

The movie first bubbled to the surface a few years ago, and speaking with MTV last year, Emmerich noted that he planned to use 3D motion capture for the film. Nothing has been heard in a while, but Deadline reports that rising scribe Dante Harper will take his pen to the movie. He may not be a familiar name, but Harper wrote next spring's "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters," and is known in studio circles for writing "All You Need Is Kill" that has Doug Liman attached, as well as adapting the graphic novel "Black Hole" that at one point had David Fincher eyeing it to direct.

Harper takes over from Robert Rodat ("The Patriot," "Saving Private Ryan") who was first was tasked with job and he has some work cut out for him. Spanning seven volumes, the epic centers on mathematician Hari Seldon, who has developed psychohistory -- or mathematical sociology. Using this technique, Seldon can see into the future and he's not liking what he's seeing: the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, is about to collapse. Worse, he's unsure of what it will rise again with calculations telling him it could have in one thousand years or thirty thousand years. In order to ensure human knowledge isn't lost, Seldon creates two foundations to store them on opposite ends of the universe. So yeah, this is hard sci-fi stuff.

It's no clear just yet if Emmerich's film is a condensation or selection of portions from Asimov's work or something that will kickstart some kind of nerd franchise, but we're curious to see how this story will be made appropriately explosion-y for the director. One of the major conflicts which we presume will be central is how the creation of the Foundations threatens the Emperor of the galaxy who orders them attacked. But man, there is a lot material and places this could go, so we'll just have to wait and see how they turn it out.

This article is related to: Roland Emmerich


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