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Will Smith as I, Robot 542

BuR4N writes "It looks like Asimov's sci-fi classic, I Robot, is going to be a movie. Shooting starts April next year staring Will Smith and directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City and The Crow). Being a huge Asimov fan I have not made up my mind if this is a good or bad thing. "
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Will Smith as I, Robot

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  • I'm definitely looking forward to the movie. I just hope that the casting is done right.

    Time to brush off my old Alan Parsons Project and have a listen, too. :)
    • Re:One to see (Score:3, Insightful)

      I just hope that the casting is done right.

      Is this going to be a comedy or is Will Smith making another attempt at being taken as a serious actor?
      • I hope it's not made into a comedy, I'll be pretty damn pissed, as I'm sure most fans would be as well.
        • Considering how they did Bicentennial Man, my cringe factor is already at 9. Considering the director, however, it might be a darker vision.

          Ah, but then they could go A.I.!! Cringe factor at 11!!

          • I didn't mind those two, they certainly weren't what they could have been though, and had AI ended at least twenty minutes earlier than it did I would have much more respect for it.
      • Is this going to be a comedy or is Will Smith making another attempt at being taken as a serious actor?

        You mean the two are mutually exclusive? :/

        (I know what you mean, it's just that the idea of the "Fresh Prince" doing Shakespeare would make me laugh out loud... and not in a good way.)

    • I hate to break it to y'all, but this isn't the first time I, Robot has been proposed as a movie, nor the rights purchased, nor even the script written. In fact, the Reuters article terribly disappointed me because they're not using the script by Harlan Ellison [], which I have read in its Asimov's serialization and quite enjoyed. (Who are these people on the new script, and what do they really know about SF, anyway?)

      I should point out that the first venture at I, Robot: The Movie didn't come off so well, but the same thing happened to Dune for years, so we'll see.
  • Bicentennial man (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Troed ( 102527 )
    ... saw it again a few weeks ago. It wasn't that bad.

    I'm not sure the Asimov-worlds my mind has made can coexist with Hollywood ones though.

  • Let's hope Will Smmith does the story justice. Any reason to think he won't ??
  • Disapointment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by e8johan ( 605347 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:21AM (#4809362) Homepage Journal
    Smith has flourished in sci-fi with the "Men in Black" films

    I'd say that 'I, Robot' augth to be far more serious that MIB or any other movie Smith has starred, so I'll bracing myself for a big disapointment. But, hopefully, I'm wrong!

    • Re:Disapointment (Score:4, Informative)

      by kongstad ( 28720 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:27AM (#4809406) Homepage
      Well I would say six degrees of seperation [] was rather serious.
      • Re:Disapointment (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bludstone ( 103539 )
        And he did a fantastic job in the role too..

        He also did a great job in Ali.

        Yes, Will Smith is famous for Being the fresh prince of bel air, a MiB, and a fighter pilot fighting aliens... but when hes serious, the guy can really act.

        Pity hes rarely serious.
    • by giel ( 554962 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:33AM (#4809437) Journal

      Besides of having doubts Will being the man for the job, I am quite afraid they will even spoil the original story. I mean that happens in a lot of (American) movies...

      Imagine the movie ending with a happy robot-man, robot-wife, two robot-kids (girl & boy), living in a big robot-house, surrounded by nice robot-flowers and a nive big and shiny robot-car... and a Will Smith song...


    • Re:Disapointment (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:33AM (#4809441)
      I dunno.

      I think theres two options in making this film.
      If its authentic to the book, its worth remembering that the book have a sense of humor. Plus with stuff like "positronic brains" and computers the size of buildings , I suspect a tounge will need to be put in the cheek.

      *OR* we can completely shuffle the thing and kill positronics etc, and have a dead serious.... and perhaps boring.... film.
      • I'm actually looking forward to the building-computers. It might give the movie a kind of unusual retro feel to it.

        But Will Smith? He's unpredictable. (Compare and contrast Ali and MIB2. Oy)

        Slightly offtopic, but one of my greatest fears in life is that Foundation will catch Hollywood's eye. Here's to hoping it slips under their radar.
    • I think that Will Smith proved that he can play without acting like a moron all the time in Six Degrees of Seperation [].

      He has been on the slippery slope towards doing an "Eddie Murphy" lately (not a positive ting), but I'm having a hard time seeing how he can do his usual "everything I say is funny, so why aren't you laughing" rutine in this setting.

      But this is hollywood, so I guess that you are right, be prepared for a big disappointment, but hope for the best.

      I wonder who'll play the role of Susan Calvin...

    • Re:Disapointment (Score:5, Insightful)

      by G-funk ( 22712 ) <> on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @10:55AM (#4809979) Homepage Journal
      "Being a huge Asimov fan I have not made up my mind if this is a good or bad thing."

      FFS people who say stuff like this piss me off... How can it possibly be a bad thing if somebody makes the worst possible movie about an aasimov story.... is the Judge Dredd comic any worse because they let stallone do that *thing*? Do the original batman movie or comics suck now because of the torture that was batman forever? Is the postman suddenly a crappy book? I'm always happy when there's a sequel or a book -> film adaptation of something I like, because if it sucks like dredd, I'm no worse off (except my friends wanted to kill for saying we should see it)... but if it rules like LOTR it only heightens my enjoyment of an already great story and universe.

      • Re:Disapointment (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dswensen ( 252552 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @12:58PM (#4810962) Homepage
        Because if you're the kind of person who likes to share your favorite things with friends, and Hollywood makes an extremely bad movie out of one of your favorite books, chances are the people you know who haven't read the book are going to laugh and scoff when you mention one of your favorite things. Not worth weeping tears of blood over, but disappointing nonetheless.

        That, and for some people, movies tend to imprint images on their imaginations that become somehow indelible. For example, Judge Dredd might be terrific, but I find it impossible to even think the words "Judge Dredd" without envisioning Stallone bellowing "I AM DA LAW!"

        If they had cast Stallone as Aragorn in the LOTR movie, and I had seen him bellow "YO, ELENDIL!" as he fights some Orcs -- yes, I might very well think of that every time I read Fellowship again. And that would be bad.
  • Brand Name B Movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultraexactzz ( 546422 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:21AM (#4809363) Journal
    It sounds like the actual script and plot will have very little to do with any of the stories in the book. Rather, Fox is using Asimov's name to sell what is likely to be a mediocre movie. Will Smith can be entertaining, but Crap made from crap is still crap. Boy I hope this isn't as bad as I think it will be. They who know me, know me. They who do not shall.
    • There seems to be a quite strong resemblance to Little Lost Robot, in which a first law modification allows a robot to not intervene, when a human is at risk.

      The movie is a futuristic thriller in which a detective investigates a crime that might have been perpetrated by a robot, even though that seems an impossibility given those three prevailing rules.

      Unfortunately it immediately degenerates into predictable tripe:

      "The big idea here is that if the robots have found a way to violate the laws, there is nothing to stop them from taking over, because the human race is so dependent on robots and automation"

      "Nothing" to stop them taking over? Nothing except Will Smith, of course. D'oh!
    • I figure they can do a good job.
      The new outer limits did a version of "I, Robot" which was a decent job of it. It was mainly a court room based version.
      The main problem I see is that they are going to have to increase the length to around 2 hours, and add an action sequence(s) which it really does not need.
      So if it comes out near Christmas I may be good, it coes out as a summer blockbuster movie then expect the same thing that happen to Starship Troopers compared to the book.
    • I think it will be that bad.
      The project originated as "Hardwired," a futuristic script by Jeff Vintar that was amalgamated with elements of "I, Robot" when Fox bought rights to Asimov's landmark book.
      If you read the "making of" book to Starship Troopers (the movie), this is essentially what happened there. Some guy had an idea for a movie and someone else said "Hey, that sounds like this book I once read." They buy the rights, slap the title and a few character names on it, and release a really crappy movie combining the worst elements of each story.

      The making-of book (which I thumbed through at Barnes & Noble) was fairly amusing--the scriptwriter was very defensive about how he had written a faithful adaptation of the original book before the producers hacked it to match their initial story concept. I wish more people in Hollywood had the grace to apologize for what they've inflicted on us... =)

  • It's a Good Thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MongooseCN ( 139203 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:21AM (#4809364) Homepage
    When a movie comes out based on a book, it stirs people to read the book. If the movie never came out, then those people would never read it.
    • by RyoSaeba ( 627522 )
      Yeah, but if the movie is bad, then people will not bother to read the book, guessing it's bad too....
      And if the movie is good, people won't bother reading the book, since they (will think they) know the story already....
      Honestly, i've almost always been disappointed by movies taken from books...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If so, WHICH one of them? Like all of Asimov's writing, some of it is very good and some of it is less good.
  • by rob-fu ( 564277 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:22AM (#4809366)
    Because it seems like he's rapped about every other one too (Men in Black, Wild Wild West, etc). I wonder what it will sound like, and will it have 'ha ha, ha ha' at the end of every line.
  • by Trusty Penfold ( 615679 ) <> on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:22AM (#4809369) Journal
    First Law:
    A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    Second Law:
    A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    Third Law:
    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law

    Fourth Law:

    Fifth Law:
    Profit !!!
  • Why no Foundation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by droopus ( 33472 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:22AM (#4809372)
    As a real Asimov fan (I even named my daughter Bliss after the character in Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth) I'm still surprised no one has taken the Foundation series and brought it to the screen. It seems such a natural movie script, with at least four or five great movies to pull out of the series.

    Anyone know why it has never been proposed as a project by Hollywood?
    • It would be a real pain to make movies. The first books are short stories collections, so i'd rather see a mini series.
      The second point is that the story isn't particularly spectacular itself. I mean, fine, save humanity & such, but no real fights, it's more political, psychological, about ideas (so can't easily be ported to screen) than anything else...

      I'm also a big Asimov fan (haven't seen Bicentennial Man though), but i'd rather have Foundation not adapted than adapted in a bad movie ^_-
      • by cnelzie ( 451984 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @10:10AM (#4809644) Homepage
        Bicentenial Man, at first, I had thought the movie would be another Robin Williams acting like a crazy entertainer, ala Rainbow Rudolph (Death to Smootchy) or Mork.

        However, he provided, in my opinion, one of his best performances ever. Whenever I get the chance to see that film, I take it. The story of his character evolving into something much more then what he was before is unbelievably heart-warming.

        It shows that to be human is far more then simply being born as a human. It is a collection of thoughts, emotions and self-determination.

        I have to rank Bicentenial Man up there as one of the greatest of Hollywood films. Which is typically the case for true cerebral/philosophical films about humanity.

        I am unable to recomend this film enough. If you watched Star Trek:TNG and liked the character of Data, then you will seriously enjoy this film. If you despised Data (and Star Trek in general) avoid this film as it covers humanity and the trappings of humanity, there are no crazy action sequences.
    • Perhaps "Foundation" is waiting for Peter Jackson to finish with the LOTR series so someone can hit it with the respect and the budget it deserves.
    • I love foundation too but I don't think it would be a very successful movie, at least if they did the original trilogy. In the first three books all of the action happens behind the scenes so to speak- you hear characters talk about it after the fact and plan it, but you never actually see anything happen. Sure, you could add it in, but then it really wouldn't be the same at all- you might as well remake dune. (I always sort of though of Paul Atreides as a really violent pissed off Hari Seldon)
    • It would be an 80 hour movie. There is a lot of material there.

      The Asimov Fondation series is a must read, so you can read the Brin, Bear, Benford Foundation books, which are so much better.

      Asimov has a real nack for plot and story, I just get tired of the simple phrasing. I don't want my fiction to read like a tech manual.

    • by revery ( 456516 )
      Foundation, Ender's Game, many of Arthur C. Clarke's novels, and lots of other sci-fi classics are proposed every year, sometimes several times a year to different studios.
      Usually, there is some sort of timing or technological issue that makes them unacceptable, such as an interested director being available along with the requisite actors, and interested studio, a period of time since the last sci-fi movie was released, the belief that they can convincingly and interestingly sell the message of the book and still make a tidy profit, etc.

      With Ender's Game, the issue is the number of capable child actors needed for the film. In the case of the Foundation series, from what I understand, most script writers have a problem balancing the story between highlighting the ideals of Hari Seldon (the decay of civilization, the development of psychohistory, etc) and an action packed engaging film. Most scripts have either been snoozers (i.e. geeks would probably like them, but everybody else would... YAWN.... zzzz) or an overly action packed filmed that would alienate the diehard fans and make the movie seem to be The Fast and the Furious II: The Psychohistorian's Gambit.

    • by dswensen ( 252552 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @12:49PM (#4810900) Homepage tml


      Genre: Science Fiction.

      Studio: 20th Century Fox.
      Production Company: Unknown.

      Project Phase: Development Hell.

      Who's In It: Unknown.

      Who's Making It: Shekhar Kapur (Director); Dennis Feldman (Screenwriter); Vince Gerardis, Shekhar Kapur (Producers); Ralph Vicinanza (Executive Producer); based upon the Issac Asimov novel Foundation.

      Premise: In the distant future, psychohistorian Hari Seldon proves that Humanity will fall back into barbarism throughout the galaxy. He creates a new field of science - psychohistory - to try and save some remnants for the survivors of the coming apocalypse.

      Release Date: Unknown.

      Comments: Asimov's Foundation series of books has been hailed as one of the classics of science fiction. The scope of the book is immense, and it deals with intangible and titanic mechanisms that shape human thought. Adapting it faithfully to the screen is a hard enough task; pulling off and delivering the philosophical richness of the book to movie-goers is going to be a tough job to do.

      Back in 1994, TriStar Pictures purchased the movie rights and was trying to develop the property with a French director. The project remained stalled for close to two years until the rights were sold to New Line Cinema in February 1996, and screenwriter Dennis Feldman (Species) hired to work on a screenplay. Feldman has said that he will try and contain as much as the book into the screenplay and remain faithful to Asimov's vision.

      Rumors: Unknown.

      Scoop Feedback:

      August 31, 1998... At one point a couple of years ago this project was on the start of development; now more than a year has passed and no official word has been heard about the hoped-for film version of Asimov's Foundation. Even though hardly any development has occured with this project, we've been scooped a tiny amount of news over the course of the last six weeks.

      In mid-July an anonymous scooper wrote that the Dennis Feldman script had been officially dropped and the project had been placed in turnaround by New Line. Then, two weeks later we were told by another anonymous writer that Atlas Entertainment and the "producer of Twelve Monkeys" were looking for a new writer and hoping to set up the project at another studio shortly.

      Another week passed and we heard some more news. The producer that the earlier (same?) scooper alluded to was revealed to be Charles Roven, who apparently also runs Atlas Entertainment. [All scoops submitted anonymously.]

      Then, three days ago, another scoop. Another mention of Feldman's script being junked and the project being placed in turnaround -- but this time another mention of Atlas' attempts to breathe cinematic life into Foundation. "ATLAS is having trouble finding another studio who will take it on, mostly because everyone in town has already tried and failed to make it at some point in the past." [Sent in by 'HotDogger'.]

      Will Asimov's grand tale reach theaters one day? Perhaps. It can only help this project when the revolutionary advances to special visual effects by computer generated imagery continues on unabated. As well, when other legendary novels are greenlighted that require such grand-scale FX, the chances of a Foundation film continue to grow. With the recent announcement that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is set to be developed as three major features, and with the commitment from such as director as Peter Jackson who's passionate about the original material, perhaps Atlas will find the right studio and director who can also see the scope and vision of adapting Asimov's classic SF tale for the silver screen.

      January 7, 1999... All we were told was "Expect ATLAS to have this project running at a major studio by the summer." That's it. [Anonymous.]

      June 27, 2000... Faaascinating. Variety published a roundup of Asimov properties, and they stated that this project is over at Fox for Shekhar Kapur to direct. Kapur proclaims himself a big fan of Asimov since he was a kid, and the article says "Kapur turns the evil conqueror into an antihero who fights his own destiny to become 'a prophet of love.'" [Originally appeared in Variety; reported by Widgett and Steve Van Loon.]

      October 1, 2000... Gary discovered that the URL is currently a redirector to So we wondered...what other domains from the Foundation series have Fox nabbed? Well, we poked around a bit in WHOIS and discovered that domains for the first, second, fifth and sixth Foundation novels have been grabbed. That means that, and are all redirecting back to Fox. Curiously, the third and fourth books in the series, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation were still available. Which makes us wonder, does Fox not have the rights to them? Because otherwise, why wouldn't they have grabbed them back in April and May of this year when they did the others? Curious. [Thanks to Gary J. Harris for making us wonder.]

      For those Asimov fans that are more knowledgeable than we, we left out Forward to Foundation since it was the last published and not in Asimov's own listing of the series. We also left out the "Second Foundation Trilogy," which was written by other authors at the request of the Asimov estate. But suffice to say, those URL's are not taken either. For more info on this, do what we did and check out the righteous Asimov FAQ.

      November 26, 2002... "After a disastrous first draft and the poor performance of Kapur's FOUR FEATHERS, the fate of this film is resting on the edge of a knife," writes 'The Fox', a fellow who seems to know what he's talking about. "But a new treatment has been written that has finally gotten things right. Let's hope Solaris does well so that Fox does not have another reason to shelve intelligent sci-fi."

      The only problem with our latest scoop is that The Fox neglected to tell us who wrote the latest draft of Foundation. Write back! [Scoop sent in by 'The Fox'.]
  • Mis-casting? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cstrommen ( 254974 ) <number1@kde.oGINSBERGrg minus poet> on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:22AM (#4809374) Homepage
    Is it just me or does Will Smith seem like a very bad choice for this film?

    I'm a big Asimov fan (robot/foundation series), but I really can't see Will Smith playing in this. Even in his most serious films (have not seen Ali yet, so I don't know about that one) he's often playing a comic character, and this doesn't exactly fit in the "I Robot" story.

    Anybody else that have read the book(s) that like to comment on this?
    • Re:Mis-casting? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by benwb ( 96829 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:40AM (#4809477)
      One film that you should see before you make any judgements about Will Smith's range: Six Degrees of Seperation. He was absolutely amazing in it, and definitely not comic relief.
    • Re:Mis-casting? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Amoeba ( 55277 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:46AM (#4809508)
      Is it just me or does Will Smith seem like a very bad choice for this film?

      I'm not so certain. Smith can act in serious roles, it's just that he's more well known for his comedic characters. My initial thought was Will Smith was a bad choice until I hit IMDB to satisfy the voice in my head that said he's never done a serious role well. Where the Day Takes You was a strong non-comedy role of Smith's. Great friggin movie. And though I didn't like Ali much he did a credible job of portraying one of the most well-known sports figures in history.


    • Re:Mis-casting? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:54AM (#4809553)
      I agree. I like Smith, but the ideal actor for this role would be "impassive" (I think that's the word) without being wooden. Smith is too light and breezy. I would have expected someone like Denzel, perhaps; I imagine Tim Robbins could pull it off as well. Maybe Ethan Hawke. They'd also have to look very "ordinary"- good looking, but could have come off an assembly line.

      The other problem is that Smith is too babyfaced. I thought the main character faked aging to masquerade as a human, so the actor would need to do an Orson Welles-in-Citizen-Kane transformation. Not too many people could pull that off- and you'd probably have to have a relatively young actor do it too. I just don't think Smith would be credible as an older man.

      This is sort of like getting Joe Pesci to play the role of Julius Caesar.
      • Re:Mis-casting? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by brassman ( 112558 )
        Silly question, perhaps, but are we all just assuming that Smith is being cast as R. Daneel Olivaw? He could be playing Lije Bailey, who IS the viewpoint character (or "star"), after all.

        If you think of Daneel as Spock, yeah, he's the charismatic breakout character -- but it's Bailey who is supposed to be Kirk!
      • I think he'd be miscast as R. Daneel Olivaw, but as plainclothesman Elija Baley he'd be fine.

        Remember, while the rest of earth society was freaking out at robots, Elija accepted them and found them useful (if inconvenient at times). He was also a bit of a rebel (having to always be "fetched", reprimanded, and ultimately accepting the Outdoors) and stood out from everyone else. He was very good at skipping around the transit system (moving walkways), and was pretty good with his fists.

        He also has strong emotional reactions to things like Spacer culture (revulsion and admiration). Smith has no problem with this at all. He even went as far as to have an affair with a Spacer (gasp! horrors!).

  • tough job (Score:3, Interesting)

    by katalyst ( 618126 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:24AM (#4809380) Homepage
    Well, its a tough job. Assimov books won't make typical sc-fi movies, coz they involve a lot of pyschology,human behaviour and other (usually) mundane elements. Bicentennial Man was a decent attempt and Williams did a good job , but the movie wasn't a complete exerience. It left much to be desired. I guess we can expect to see a lot of eye-candy.
    Why doesn't anyone attack the Foundation Series ? The Traders will look good on screen and so will the heroics of the various Terminus Mayors :) But , I must admit, they will be open to a helluva lota speculation/criticism/appreciation.
  • by imac.usr ( 58845 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:24AM (#4809384) Homepage
    The good folks at Coming Attractions have been following this production [] for quite some time now.

    I'm a big fan of the stories as well, and am at least curious to see how they translate to the big screen.

    CA also has a page on efforts to bring another classic Asimov story [] to the big screen...

  • Atari Version (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bjb ( 3050 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:25AM (#4809389) Homepage Journal
    Sleepy eyes and brain made me think "They're making I, Robot (as in the Atari game) into a movie?". What, is it going to be like Tron 2.0 and they're going to redo the polygons or something?

    If you're not familiar with it, I, Robot [] by Atari was the first video game to use 3D filled polygons. Pretty darn impressive at the time (1983).

  • Smith can be entertaining to watch but I just can't imagine his hyperactive persona portraying a robot with any of the dignity Asimov ascribed to them.

    Certainly, I can't see him matching Haley Joel Osment's performance in AI.

    The article mentions that the film adaption is going to basically be a murder mystery, I just hope that Smith is going to play the cop/private dick/whatever rather than one of Asimov's real stars.

    • Smith can be entertaining to watch but I just can't imagine his hyperactive persona portraying a robot with any of the dignity Asimov ascribed to them.

      The article doesn't say what role Smith will be playing, but it says the plot will revolve around a detective investigating a murder. The robots in I, Robot aren't humaniform, so odds are Smith will be playing the detective.


      • Hmmm, that sounds more like the plot to Robots of Dawn to me. Wonder what the likelihood is that, as someone mentioned above, HW is attempting to cash in on the Asimov name by 1) writing a new movie 2) using a popular sci fi book as it's "source" and most importantly 3) being the total fuck up retards that they are, coming up with a plot that has allready been done in another book by the same author?

        I really have difficulty seeing Will Smith fit into any Asimov world. I swear to god, if I hear the word yo, or jiggy, or he raps a song for the soundtrack I'll lose my mind. That's all well and good for MIB, but I really don't need to see his hip hop style applied to Asimov.

  • Shooting starts April 2003? Not soon enough! But seriously, I loved the original stories and for all Will Smith is annoying, I think he could pull of the detective roll pretty well.

    The inevitable chart song, however, seems a different story...
  • Dichotomy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mbourgon ( 186257 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:26AM (#4809400) Homepage
    Plus: Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow)
    Minus: Will Smith

    Plus: Asimov premise
    Minus: Hollywood adaptation

    Plus: Will Smith as a robot wouldn't strain his acting ability
    Minus: Smith might play the human

    Plus: clever ideas, cool story
    Minus: probably will be shot as a scifi/comedy

    This could be interesting. For the love of god, though, don't let Will Smith play his "normal" character (remember Wild Wild West? That was supposed to be Jim West?). Give him someone else to play - we know he can act, even if he chooses not to.
    • Re:Dichotomy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scrow ( 620374 )
      Plus: Proyas
      Never underestimate the directors ability to bring out good performances.

      Evidence: Keanu Reeves in The Matrix
      We all know that could have been a large ouch. :)
  • I Robot? Wrong book (Score:5, Informative)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:26AM (#4809401) Journal
    from the article: The movie is a futuristic thriller in which a detective investigates a crime that might have been perpetrated by a robot, even though that seems an impossibility given those three prevailing rules.

    Doesn't this sound more like Caves of Steel?

    Interestingly, Caves of Steel has been made into a TV movie before []
  • At least it's better than Robin Williams, who made me singlehandedly not watch Bicentennial Man, no matter how much of an Asimov fan I am.
    I still think this is going to suck, but at least I might watch this one...
  • Will Smith? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:27AM (#4809409) Homepage Journal
    "... Being a huge Asimov fan I have not made up my mind if this is a good or bad thing. "

    Man. I understand your mixed feelings on this one. It's like being a Judge Dredd fan and wathing Stallone unmask and otherwise butcher a legend. Considering Smith's recent work, I have the feeling I must miss this one, as I just can't see him doing a good serious acting job. Can anyone vouch a good bit of dramatic work he's actually done? Seems like a blunder in the making.

    Now Wil Wheaton, that's another story ;-)

  • Which robot? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Luke-Jr ( 574047 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:34AM (#4809443)
    Which robot is Will Smith playing? If I remember, there is at least 9 different main robots in `I, Robot', one for each story: Bobbie, Reason, Liar!, Runaround, Catch That Rabbit, Escape, Evidence, Little Lost Robot, and The Evitable Conflict...
  • by EkiM in De ( 574327 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:35AM (#4809447)
    I doubt that this is going to be a reasonably faithful adaptation from the book we all know and love:
    The project originated as "Hardwired," a futuristic script by Jeff Vintar that was amalgamated with elements of "I, Robot" when Fox bought rights to Asimov's landmark book.

    Basically Fox bought the rights, transplanted the name onto an existing script and then added a few elements from the book to avoid rejection. Either that or the script was a complete rip-off of the book anyway that they just brought in a few elements that were missing....

    Only time and release schedules will tell.
  • "Wild, Wild West"

    Wil Smith totally ruined that movie. I hope he doesn't ruin this one (but I'm not holding my breath).

  • They're not using Harlan Ellison's script []. So I expect that this will suck rocks.

  • by LittleGuy ( 267282 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:39AM (#4809471)
    Back in 1989, when Michael Keaton was cast for Tim Burton's Batman? And after the franchise has run its course, Keaton is arguably the best of the "Dark Knight" movie versions.

    Will Smith has done great drama like "Six Degrees of Separation" (and tried again in "The Legend of Bagger Vance"), so I recognize the potential.

    Will Smith will not make or break the movie on his own. Alex Proyas gives me high hopes, and it's still up in the air who will co-star (Joanne Woodward was envisioned when Ellison wrote his version of the screenplay).

    The project originated as "Hardwired," a futuristic script by Jeff Vintar that was amalgamated with elements of "I, Robot" when Fox bought rights to Asimov's landmark book. Subsequent drafts of the script have been done by Hillary Seitz ("Insomnia") and Oscar-winning "A Beautiful Mind" scribe Akiva Goldsman, who wrote the last draft and is expected to be a prevailing presence on the picture.

    This script has much parentage, and whether it meshes together as something worthwhile is still a big question.

    • Subsequent drafts of the script have been done by Hillary Seitz ("Insomnia") and Oscar-winning "A Beautiful Mind" scribe Akiva Goldsman, who wrote the last draft and is expected to be a prevailing presence on the picture.

      Funny that it's Akiva "A Beautiful Mind" Goldsman, not Akiva "Batman and Robin" Goldsman or Akiva "Lost in Space" Goldsman or Akiva "Practical Magic" Goldsman.

      Sure, he wrote one passable movie, but... We must never forget!
  • There has been a screenplay for a movie of I. Robot around for a long time. I've owned it for at least 5 years, the book is at my home (I'm in college) or I'd tell you who published it and what not. I'm sure you can find it on Amazon. But after reading it I can assure you that if the movie they are making follows that screenplay you are in for a high quality movie.
    • That's undoubtedly Harlan Ellison's script you have and they aren't using it: which is just one of the clues that the production team doesn't have a clue. A script of that caliber is available, but they aren't using it.
  • Whoring (Score:3, Informative)

    by His name cannot be s ( 16831 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @09:44AM (#4809494) Journal
    Scoop Feedback:

    December 8, 1998... We heard of the title and the gist of the story before, but with the script stuck in turnaround there was nothing to report on. Then this email rolled onto our hard drive:

    "20th Century Fox just picked this script up in turnaround from Walt Disney. It's an old-fashioned murder mystery, really, sort of like an Agatha Christie, I guess. Except that all of the suspects in the murder are artificial intelligences of varying degrees of intelligence. A pretty dog-gone cool idea. Bryan Singer was attached to direct at Disney, with Laurence Mark producing, although that may change now. Still, a cool project resurrected by Fox, from a spec script sale by Jeff Vintar from a few years back. Might be worth keeping an eye on?"

    If Fox has picked up the project then things might warm up a bit. We'll keep our ears open for anything. [Scooped by anonymous.]
    February 9, 1999... Last Friday we were told that the week before director Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow) had been on the Twentieth Century Fox lot "talking about doing a sci-fi project for Fox, something about computers, I don't know which project, but it looks like he's signing on," our scooper told us.

    The next day we were then hailed by one of our known contacts that indeed Proyas had been shuttling around the Fox lot because he was signing the contract to direct Hardwired. Andrew Mason and Laurence Mark are the producers. We've no idea if Proyas is shooting with Vintar's present script or a rewrite. Fox is expected to make the Hardwired announcement soon...but now you have something to talk about at the water cooler. [Two anonymous sources will receive Valentine's Day cards from us.]

    February 18, 1999... A reader's review of the Vintar script has arrived in our Inbox...

    "I was very excited to read your latest scoop regarding Alex Proyas signing on to direct Hard Wired. This script has been sitting on my desk for over a year now, and it's one of the best original sci-fi screenplays I've read -- it baffles me that it's taken so long for it to move up the production chain.

    "Basically, Hard Wired is a futuristic murder mystery that reads a lot like a stage play - only a handful of principal characters, and the whole story takes place in just a few rooms inside the same building (although it could never actually be a play because some of the visuals are just too far out). The story surrounds the murder of a renowned research scientist where the prime suspects are a robot and an AI computer. Or maybe it was a suicide. Who knows? A detective from the FBI's AI division is assigned to investigate, and a very convoluted and clever mystery unfolds. All they need to do is change the name of the main character (FBI agent Del Spooner - yuk) and they'll have a winner on their hands. I hope this one makes it onto the screen just as it is on the page, because it's a terrific screenplay. Geeks everywhere should wish this one luck..."

    [Script review tendered by 'Agent 4125'.]

    March 30, 1999... One of our name-withheld sources gave us a quick update as to why we haven't heard any announcement that Alex Proyas would be the film's new director: "Bryan Singer does not want to give up his contractual right to follow this project from its turnaround at Disney to Fox. Lots of embarrassed faces all around--and disappointed ones--now that Fox is unable to pursue the film immediately with Proyas. A terrific project falls back into limbo for the indefinite future...." [Anonymous.]

    February 2, 2000... We were wondering if we'd ever find out what happened to Proyas' involvement with Hardwired...and our scooper's returned to tell us the latest:

    "Alex Proyas is in Los Angeles shooting a short project, and also meeting with executives on Hardwired, which is expected be his next film. Work on the final shooting script begins in February."

    [Credit anonymous.]

    March 8, 2000... Here's the scoop from a new face we haven't seen before, 'The Robot Fighter':

    "Fox is sending Vintar to Australia to work on a production polish of Hardwired with Alex Proyas. Hopes are high that this will go before the cameras soon. Fans of this sceenplay should be pleased!

    "By the way, the new producer on deck is Christopher Dow, replacing Andrew Mason, who no longer works with Mr. Proyas. That is in addition to Laurence Mark, who had this project set up once at Disney."

    [Like we said, 'The Robot Fighter' is the guy who sent this one in.]

    May 22, 2000... Okay, it's a bit odd, but Fox Foxey wants to tell you where they are with this one. The Vintar bit we knew about, but the second half of this--the part dealing with Asimov--is kinda wild. See for yourself:

    "I understand that Vintar will be writing a second draft (the first being his original spec) this summer, and that Fox and Proyas would like to film by the end of the year, or early in 2001. It depends in part on whether or not Proyas and company can whip their Masque of the Red Death script into shape, which Proyas was supposed to direct first, with Hardwired coming right after.

    "Another wrinkle is that Fox is negotiating for the rights to the title I, Robot in the hope of producing a series of robot films.

    "The studio feels that the Hardwired spec makes for a far better film story than an adaptation of the Asimov stories would be, and is planning to rename this project I, Robot, and I guess insert Susan Calvin and other Asimov elements into the script! So this would be the first film in the I, Robot series, which would presumably begin to adapt the actual Asimov stories in the first sequel. Sort of weird, but....

    "If you read the spec, which was sold way back in 1995 to Hollywood Pictures with Bryan Singer originally attached to direct, you know this isn't really a bad idea. Or at least, the story is intelligent and cool enough that you could see it happening.

    "But if Fox doesn't get the Asimov rights, expect it to go ahead under its original title.... Anyways, this could be a big tent pole pic! Either way, the robots are coming in 2001, first in A.I., and then in Hardwired!"

    Okay, that's a little strange. But we posted it here because that's how Lawnmower Man got made, so we know that Hollywood has such strangeness in them. There is precedent. [Fox Foxey did it.]

    July 20, 2000... One of our faithful regulars sent word to us that Davis Entertainment is now coming aboard to help speed along this project. Word from our man is that Davis will be bringing the rights from an unmentioned Isacc Asimov property (Robots of Dawn, perhaps?)

    The complete list of cast, as sent to us by our source:

    Director: Alex Proyas

    Writer: Jeff Vintar, based on his spec script, Hardwired; with characters & concepts from the short story collection by Isaac Asimov

    Producers: Topher Dow, Mystery Clock Cinema;
    Laurence Mark, Laurence Mark Productions;
    John Davis, Davis Entertainment

    Exec producer: Wyck Godfrey, Davis Entertainment

    Fox execs: Peter Rice, Emma Watts

    And it's supposed to be the first in a proposed series of robot films!

    [Scooped by our anonymous friend.]

    October 28, 2000... Our anonymous friend returns. And after all this talk, when we contacted other sources close to the production they merely said, "News coming soon." Here's sooner than soon.

    "The producer deals are now done. Hardwired has now officially become the first film in Fox's proposed I, Robot film series, serving as a sort of prequel to the stories we know...A draft by Jeff Vintar should be in by the end of the year, based on the Hardwired spec script by Vintar, with some characters and concepts from the I, Robot short stories [I assume Susan Calvin and the Three Laws, but I don't know for sure]. Proyas will probably direct this as his next big studio feature. He is filming a small Australian comedy right now, something about a rock band, and I, Robot will probably be his next one, filming late in 2001 [no way they could make it before the proposed strikes, so I have to assume it will fall into the schedule soon after]. An interesting project to say the least with that popular spec [Bryan Singer was attached to make it for Hollywood Pictures before they went belly up], and of course the great Asimov properties, and with Alex Proyas!"

    [Our anonymous friend strikes again.]

    September 18, 2001... A robotic squirrel ran onto our ledge today and then proceeded to tell us the following:

    "This film is very close to a greenlight now on Vintar's third draft. Proyas directing. I hear that Will Smith is considering signing on to play the male lead Detective. No word yet as to who might play Asimov's Doctor Calvin. The script is being guarded better than Fort Knox, but they say that it is true to both the original spec script while also being a cool intro to the 'I, Robot' world, and has a shot at being the best A.I. film ever made. [Not that this would be too hard after Bicentennial Man and A.I.!] Anyway, it all sounds hopeful. Producers on the project are Laurence Mark and John Davis. Expect this to film at Fox's Australia studios next spring!"

    [We gave the chittering 'FoxMania' a couple of nuts, then he dashed away into the trees.]

    Laurence Mark and John Davis are indeed producers working on the script, so that part of our furry friend's message checks out.

    February 14, 2002... Our next scooper has been proven to be 100% legitimate. The last time they contacted CA, it was to tell us that Charlie's Angels director McG had been hired to helm Superman 5. That was in October 2001, and today the official announcement finally appeared in the industry trade magazine Variety. Need we say more about our scooper's credentials?

    Today we'll spill what new information they've told us. Considering where this information comes from, we think it tells you precisely what's going on right now with the Hardwired movie project...and who might be cast as the movie's leading man.

    "This film is getting ready to roll this fall at the Fox Sydney studies under the direction of Alex Proyas. Tentative start date is September. The studio is going out to cast soon, and you can expect them to start at the top, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, etc. The script is being guarded tightly, but those who have read it say it is just fantastic, and wonder if such a script can really make it through the studio without being dumbed down. Not an adaptation of any one Asimov story, based on an original script, but one that serves as a prequel and an introduction to Susan Calvin and the 'I, Robot' world. Design work on that world and the robots has already begun down under. Look for this at Christmas time, 2003. Remember you heard it from..."

    [...our anonymous friend. And we thank you again, sir.]

    February 19, 2002... While being interviewed by Moviehole, director Alex Proyas seemed to confirm what our inside sources have been telling us this past year. "[Hardwired] will probably be my next movie and we are hoping to start shooting before the end of this year," Proyas told the website. "The project is actually called I Robot and is based on the stories of Isaac Asimov. It's a murder mystery where the main suspect is an extremely advanced robot."

    [Thanks to Clint at Moviehole.]

    April 29, 2002... Don't blame the messenger; we're just telling you what we ourselves were told:

    "Fox took a great script and gave it to the two geniuses responsible for last summer's Planet of the Apes disaster, Larry Rosenthal and Mark Konner. You can guess what happened. Everyone who read the original was thrilled. Anyone who reads this one is going to battle their gag reflex. Let's hope somebody in charge comes to their d--n senses, or this is going to be yet another piece a shit. Oh wait what I saying? This is Fox. The movie never had a chance...." [This timebomb left behind by 'Doom Patrol'.]

    August 16, 2002... A new scooper tells us that a new production office has been set up at Fox Studios Australia for the next Alex Proyas project. "It's marked as I ROBOT and has car spaces for Antoine Simkine, Liz Keogh and Alex Proyas," writes our pal. "Looks very promising for I ROBOT kicking off in the near future." [That's the news from Kelvin.]

    November 26, 2002... We've been doing this for a few years, so we've managed to forge relationships with some Hollywood insiders; people who know about this film stuff before we do, people we trust because what they've told us before has come to pass. People like our next scooper.

    "Everyone in town knows Will Smith has been dancing around this project--once again--for weeks now," writes our red friend. "He'll have to make his final decision soon, as the project is still gearing up for a spring start." So how long with Fox let Smith go before he has to make that final decision?

    [Name withheld.]

    December 2, 2002... We've been getting scoops from Hollywood and Australian insiders about this project for a couple of years, but today we heard a bit of news from a Vancouver spy about Alex Proyas' I Robot project. According to our source the project has quietly moved into development and is looking around Vancouver for "things". Whether that means the film is seeking studio space and will shoot partly in Canada remains unclear. Still, our man on the inside tells us that the buzz is that it's shaping up to be planned for a summer release..."Which summer I dont know."


    December 3, 2002... Another one of our anonymous insiders (this time it's a different fellow) tells us that the word is I Robot is being targeted for a summer 2004 release with a spring 2003 start of production. [Name withheld too.]

    December 4, 2002... It was more than a year ago we first told you that Will Smith was one of the leading candidates for starring in I, Robot. As recently as last month, another of our inside connections told us that time was growing short for Smith and he would have to make a decision about starring in the film or moving on to some other project. Finally we can report that today we have proof that our inside connections were indeed 100% correct.

    In today's issues of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, both magazines report that Will Smith is in talks to play the lead in I, Robot with Alex Proyas attached to direct. And also reported in the trades is what we told you about yesterday, that production is scheduled to commence in spring 2003. [Sources: Variety, Hollywood Reporter.]

    The dual stories in Reporter and Variety could very well be an attempt by someone -- whether it's the studio, a producer, whomever -- to drum up buzz and get Smith to commit to the project. That very well might happen now.
  • A Viewpoint (Score:2, Interesting)

    I dont really read Asimov and therefore couldn't really call myself a fan. I also havent read the book.So I wont make a comment.

    But I do wish to comment on Will Smith. Personally I really like him as an actor. In MIB he was funny. In Enemy Of The State and Ali he played non comic characters in non comic films and pulled it off. Both those films where good [imho] and in Ali he did a great job. I am looking forward to seeing Will Smith on screen again to see how he does again.

    So, yes, the point, please dont slate Will Smith before you have seen him in these two [more] serious films as he isn't such a bad actor and may just suprise you.
  • Short Stories? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by renderhead ( 206057 )
    I'm surprised that more people haven't pointed this out, but isn't I, Robot a collection of short stories, some of which are set decades apart from one another? I can't imagine this being a good thing(TM) for the book's reputation, since anyone reading the book because of the movie will be surprised to find that the two are nothing alike. I just hope that they leave Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles alone. Someone produced a terrible miniseries from it years ago, and I can only imagine how bad a condensed, 2-hour version would be.
    • Re:Short Stories? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xpilot ( 117961 )
      Not only that, but they also mostly unrelated in terms of plotline. Besides the recurring characters, each episode deals with a different theme and crisis. It's better to be made into a mini series or something.

      Are they going to change the name of US Robots and Mechanical Men Corp to "North American Robotics" again as in "The Bicentennial Man" movie (which is ironic; the reason for the name change is so that it wouldn't infringe on US Robotics, but US Robotics got its name from Asimov's stories!).
  • Wouldnt it be great if instead of the Laws of robotics they programmed robots with the rules of aquisition?

    Oh wait.. that's Hollywood isn't it?
  • dude... I don't see how you can complain. Alex Proyas would be perfect for this kind of sci-fi movie. My first choice would be Ridley Scott (Blade runner, Alien) but Proyas will do a good job as well.
    I'm a little surprised with Will Smith, but he's a versatile actor and probably looking for a new script that has a high potential for sequels. I imagine if Proyas shoots even a moderately successful sci-fi flick, some of the other robot movies will go into the works as well.

  • Those bastards aren't going to use Harlan Ellison's screenplay []. So don't bother. I'm not surprised. Will Smith's version should be better than the execrable adaptation of Nightfall [] whose only dubious distinction is that it was filmed at Arcosanti [], but it probably won't be better than Robin William's super-schmaltzy Bicentennial Man. []
  • Remember Dark City? This guy has a skill for making dark sci-fi. Yeah, it will be good.
  • Someone must have figured that even after Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man, Asmiov wasn't spinning quite fast enough in his grave.
  • by NeuroManson ( 214835 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @10:10AM (#4809646) Homepage
    First Law:
    A robot may not get jiggy with a human being, or, through getting jiggy with it, allow a human being to come to harm.

    Second Law:
    A robot must get jiggy with it under orders given it by human beings, except where getting jiggy with it would conflict with the First Law.

    Third Law:
    A robot must protect its getting jiggy with it as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

  • by CriX ( 628429 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @10:19AM (#4809703)
    OMG, I hope there isn't a new Will Smith song with this movie... jeez, it'll be so bad if he tries to sing something serious or make some sort of "message to the children" warning them of a possible dystopian robotic future.

    Yo, Damn these robots be confusin'
    Now that they start abusin.
    Who knows when they might go bad?
    I almost wish that I had
    invested in a new computer game pad
    than this faulty piece of metal.
    These three laws be dead
    and I don't wanna face no battle,
    should bought my baby a rattle,
    or a craft matic adjustable bed!

    Seriously though, I hope they take this movie seriously... seriously.
  • Dr who? (Score:4, Funny)

    by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <> on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @10:19AM (#4809710) Homepage Journal
    Will is a good actor and all...

    .. but he just isn't what I picture when I read about Dr. Susan Calvin.

  • by Hadean ( 32319 ) <hadean.dragon+sl ... minus city> on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @10:26AM (#4809751)
    But has anyone seen Six Degrees of Seperation? Honestly, the man -does- have talent... But, if you were in his shoes, wouldn't you rather make -fun- movies (MiB, etc.) and make a hundred times the money? I would...

    But as has been mentioned, this kind of argument has been made a hundred times before... Look at the Batman's... some whom we thought would suck were actually quite good. And plus, look at Troyas' other casting decisions - Brandon Lee didn't seem like the best choice at the time either (but he was damned amazing).

    Anyway, whatever... you know how these rumours go. I remember hearing that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to be in the Lord of the Rings many years back... (thank gods he wasn't).
  • by Rader ( 40041 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @10:42AM (#4809857) Homepage
    Being a huge Asimov fan I have not made up my mind if this is a good or bad thing. "

    I think being a huge Asimov fan is always a good thing. Keep up the good work, chap!

  • by wack ( 136734 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @11:31AM (#4810293)
    Doesn't this sound a lot like the book/story line from "Caves of Steel"?
  • by qubertz ( 631350 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @11:31AM (#4810298)

    I, Robot is a chronical of the history of a ficticious company, U.S. Robotics and Mechanical Men, that builds robots! (duh).

    Having re-read this book just recently I was interested in scoping out how this book would fit into a "Will Smith" movie script.

    First Option:

    The movie is an adaptation of the entire book as a whole. Doubtful. Its a bunch of short stories tied together in the style of "Interview With a Vampire". i.e. a reporter chronicling the history of US Robitcs & MM by interviewing the company's pricipals (most notable the robot-psycologist Susan Calvin).

    So, an adaptation of the whole book would leave only one possible "headliner" role for Will Smith, the reporter. But the reporter doesn't *do* anything. So the first option is definitely out.

    Second Option:

    Adapt one or more of the stories in the book to the screen. This is more plausible. Its hard to condense novels into scripts, but its much easier to do this with "short stories". King's "The Green Mile" is an excellent example.

    So, which stories would you pick that would give Will Smith the key role and exposure needed?

    "Robbie" - the first story in the book is about a robot used as a domestic nanny that becomes the best friend of the owner's daughter. This is obviously the story that was the basis for Bicentennial Man, so its out.

    "Runnaround", "Reason", and "Catch That Rabbit" are stories focused on Gregory Powel and Michael Donovan, the robot troubleshooters for US Robotics & MM. These stories are excellent reads and are very good illustrations of the paradoxes and problems that might arise as the robots go about thier existence while adhering the to Robot Laws. But they are, in my opinion too cerebral for the typical Will Smith moviegoer. (read - they would be too boring).

    The two stories I believe would work are "Evidence" and "The Evitable Conflict" which present the possibility of a robot with a human appearance. Lots of conflict in the premise that a robot that is physically indistinguishable from a human might rise to a position of power. I thin that would make a good film.

    Whether Will Smith would play the robot or be the guy trying to "out" him, it probably doesn't matter. I prefer the former though.

    Of course, one they put in the car(flying saucer?) chases and the snappy one liners, it won't really matter which way they go.....

  • by squarefish ( 561836 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @11:33AM (#4810316)
    He was the original pick to play Neo in the Matrix and turned it down to do 'wild wild west'.
    I'm not shitting you- it's a fact!
  • by iplayfast ( 166447 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @11:44AM (#4810400)
    I always thought of Susan Calvin as a female!

    This sci fi stuff is getting stranger all the time :)

  • by ThinWhiteDuke ( 464916 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @12:09PM (#4810595)
    I've reread "I, Robot" recently, and IMHO the two great strenghts of the books are:

    - The pretty deep analysis of the interactions between the 3 laws of robotics. Hollywood's track record in butchering anything subtle or complex in a sci-fi novel is amazing. Think about "The minority report". Dick's original idea is that knowing the future changes it. In the movie, it becomes a boring story about free will. Think about the recent "planet of the apes" or "screamers". It's sad but Hollywood's tendancy is to reduce sci-fi to eye-candy and bland plots.

    - The unusual, unnerving, yet strangely attaching character of Dr. Susan Calvin. She's central to the stories as she bridges the gap between robots and humans. I know Will Smith has a lot of talent, but I don't think he can play her role effectively. She's supposed to be plain, cold, arrogant and inflexible. I don't know of any American actress who matches this description. So her character will most probably disappear or its importance be greatly diminished.

    So basically, we should expect a poor crime plot (not too complex, Joe Sixpack must understand); we'll see scores of nicely rendered robots joking with Will Smith. And maybe a couple blaster gun fights. So sad...
  • Um... 9 short films? (Score:4, Informative)

    by spoonboy42 ( 146048 ) on Wednesday December 04, 2002 @12:46PM (#4810882)

    I, Robot was a collection of 9 short stories, not a novel. So which one, precisely, is getting the movie treatment? It'd also be interesting to know which character Smith will be playing. A robot? (ho hum... Robin Williams did it so-so in another Asimov adaptation) One of Donovan or Powell? (actually, this might be kinda fun. These two never really did get a fair shake living in Susan Calvin's shadow) Susan Calvin herself? (err... maybe not)

    I should note that I, Robot was actually adapted into a screenplay [] by Asimov himself in collaboration with Harlan Ellison (and with all the teasing between these two you thought they'd never work together). Hopefully their script is being used for the film, otherwise I shudder to think how it might turn out.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972