Isaac Asimov’s ‘Caves of Steel’ Getting The Hollywood Treatment

Published 4 years ago by

caves of steel movie Isaac Asimovs Caves of Steel Getting The Hollywood Treatment

The literature of sci-fi icon Isaac Asimov has been adapted for the big screen many a time before – though, previous Hollywood big-budget treatments have generally amounted to very loose adaptations, at best (see: Bicentennial Man, I, Robot).

Hence why Asimov fans might have mixed feelings about 2oth Century Fox moving ahead with a film version of The Caves of Steel – a sci-fi/murder mystery novel that was originally published in serial form in 1953.

Deadline says that John Scott 3 and Henry Hobson – the writing/directing duo behind the upcoming low-budget zombie drama, Maggie – have been recruited to realize Caves of Steel on the big screen. Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class, Elysium) is onboard to produce the project.

Caves of Steel is an interesting specimen, seeing how Asimov reportedly wrote the novel in part to demonstrate that science fiction genre tropes could be mixed with other genres. That’s not exactly a revolutionary concept today – seeing how sci-fi elements have been combined with those from genres ranging from Film Noir (Blade Runner) to even the classic western (Cowboys & Aliens) – but it was a fairly innovative concept for writers, back in the mid-20th Century.

Asimov’s original book revolves around the murder of Roj Nemmenuh Sarton – a space ambassador who has long struggled to convince the futuristic governments of Earth to do away with anti-robot legislation. When Roj is discovered dead, human detective Elijah Baley is recruited by the New York police department to solve the crime – with the assistance of the humanoid robot R. Daneel Olivaw. Those two questing characters (who would also be featured in later Asimov stories) struggle to discover the identity of Sarton’s killer – partly, due to Elijah’s own prejudices towards his mechanized partner.

If there are plot points in that synopsis that seem more than a bit reminiscent of the I, Robot adaptation… don’t worry, it’s not just you.

i robot will smith Isaac Asimovs Caves of Steel Getting The Hollywood Treatment

Will Smith in 'I, Robot'

Hobson has previously worked as a visual artist – serving as the effects director on Julie Taymor’s The Tempest adaptation – and designing the stylized credits in films such as Sherlock Holmes and the Fright Night remake (not to mention, the Walking Dead TV series). Scott, by comparison, works for NASA and develops command systems for the organization’s flagship X-ray satellite.

In other words: the two are anything but tried-and-true filmmakers, but they certainly have the ability to realize Caves of Steel as a visually creative – and scientifically sound – piece of cinematic art. Perhaps some fresh blood is exactly what this project needs, given its overt similarities to other sci-fi titles.

We will keep you posted on the status of The Caves of Steel as more information is released.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Yes yes yes.

  2. Yes this is prequel stuff to the Foundation series. It’s the kind of stuff Fox should be focusing on…

  3. The foundation series is an amazing series of books. To bring it to theater could bring a breath of fresh air to scifi genre.

    • A seventy-year-old breath of fresh air.

      Believe me, I’m not knocking your comment at all… rather I fully endorse the hope that the movie industry might be renewed by use of genuinely forward thinking material such as these works of Asimov. Sci-fi had a moment in the sun a number of years ago which only faded when executives fully missed the point of why it was such a vital resource and attempted their usual tack of re-hashing the same concept in various shiny packages.

      I think a resurgence of properly intelligent Sci-Fi is long overdue.

  4. Loved this book as a kid. Always thought it could make for a decent film.

  5. Next can we have the Norby books as family friendly adventure movies, please. Loved those books as a kid, still love them today.

  6. Ah no. That’s one of my favorite Asimov series. They’ll just bollix it up.

    As for Foundation I just don’t see it being filmable. It’s more about ideas than characters.

  7. It would be cool to have some sophisticated mystery/action sci-fi movies and then connect them to the Foundation series. I think the idea of a futuristic society weathering a dark age would be timely and timeless.

  8. R. Daneel Olivaw! I have been waiting for movie versions of these books. When I, Robot came out, I was confused and thought it was about this series. Yes! Can’t wait!

  9. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Not read the article but Fox, FOX, not happy. May change my mind after I read the article though!

  10. Interesting, interesting. A movie that’s not a remake/re-imagining of an older film or tv series is always worth a looksee.

    mac :]

  11. Caves of Steel is in the same ‘universe’ as stories in the collection “I, Robot”, some of which feature Susan Calvin, and other robot stories. Caves of Steel is also set in the long-past prequel of the Foundation series. The story in Caves of Steel (and its sequels) is not very similar to the movie adaption of “I, Robot” at it’s core – but in surface detail only.

    It would be far more accurate to imply that the “I, Robot” movie was a poorly disguised rip off of Asimov’s works. Full of sound and fury with little significant thought to it. Asimov’s works were deeply informed by the world he grew up in and the tensions he experienced. Prejudice and human nature are core elements of the Caves of Steel, to speak without spoilers.

    This is one of my favorite Asimov works, and I can only hope the movie version will not be too painful for fans of the written works.

  12. Am I the only one who liked “I, Robot”?

  13. A foundation movie and a Caves of Steel(the other robot book besides “I Robot” which I liked; i didn’t like most of his robot books; liked the empire novels and most of the foundation books . . . didn’t really care for books two and three) . . . movies based on ideas than violence – what a novel concept. Unfortunately, they’ll be turned into action movies to make them ‘interesting.’

  14. Holy crap the first time I read this book, I immediately thought “This would make a fantastic movie.”

  15. Are this story, and most of the comments, really a year old?

  16. I think the idea is that they are trying to appeal to weaker minded men who purchase women instead of meeting women by using men they idolize as example of “what a real man would do”. I think they are missing the mark though.