cheek by jowl

Former New Line Chiefs Set Out to Film Only Novels Geekier Than ‘Lord of the Rings’

Photo: Photo: Courtesy of Bantam

If you thought Lord of the Rings fans were geeky, you ain’t seen nothing yet — at least not if Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne have anything to say about it. The two producers, who departed from New Line (where they were responsible for bringing Peter Jackson’s Rings adaptations to the screen) to form their own production company, Unique Features, have chosen as their first development project Isaac Asimov’s high-minded science-fiction Foundation novels. Now we know what you might be saying. Spaceships and ray guns are cooler than elves and hobbits. But trust us. We were clutching our Asimov close to our chest during our formative years, weeping bitter tears into our pillow while we watched the comparatively cooler fantasy nerds get all the girls.

Could anyone actually make a movie out of Foundation? We have our doubts, expressed after the jump in chart form. —Ehren Gresehover

Lord of the Rings

Story line A band of strangers must gather together to help destroy a magic ring and triumph over the evil demon Sauron. A group of academics must write an encyclopedia of all human knowledge, to save human civilization from societal upheaval.
Most powerful hero Gandalf, a sword-wielding wizard who rides a horse. Hari Seldon, a math-wielding social scientist who rides a wheelchair.
Villain Sauron, a badass, muscle-bound warrior demon who sees the world with his giant flaming eye. The Mule, a 120-pound weakling who uses his mental powers to become emperor, and who sees the world over his giant, protruding nose.
High-concept focal point The One Ring, which turns its wearer invisible and wields ultimate power. Psychohistory, a mathematical theory that predicts the behavior of extremely large groups of human beings, rendering the wielder invisible to girls.
Best-developed female character Eowyn, who navigates gender expectations and true love while kicking ass and saving the world. N/A.

Shaye, Lynne on for ‘Foundation’ [HR]

Former New Line Chiefs Set Out to Film Only Novels Geekier Than ‘Lord of the Rings’