I don't actually think that George Lucas specifically ripped off The Foundation Trilogy when he wrote Star Wars, but clearly Lucas's most famous works rely greatly on science fiction tropes and ideas that were utilized so well in Asimov's work. (For that matter, Asimov could hardly claim to have invented a lot of those same tropes, since E. E. Smith's Lensman series did it decades before Asimov.) While I don't consider any of the Foundation books to be Asimov's masterworks, they're among the most famous works of the early days of science fiction, and it's always nice to see them getting their props.
It's ironic that this was posted just as this news came out:
Columbia won an auction late Thursday for screen rights to "Foundation," Isaac Asimov's ground breaking science fiction trilogy. The film will be developed as a directing vehicle for Roland Emmerich.
Emmerich and his Centropolis partner Michael Wimer will produce the film. The deal was mid six-figures against low seven figures.
Roland Emmerich? Directing Foundation? Okay, so this isn't the absolutely worst news that we could hear -- it could be Paul W.S. Anderson at the helm. But with such a classic piece of SF that's been in and out of development for at least a decade, I wish that we could get someone with a little bit more vision for the themes of the story rather than relying on spectacle -- we need a Peter Jackson to tackle this project, and instead we're getting the guy whose best movie so far is Independence Day.
Who do I think could tackle this and give it the respect it deserves? Personally I'd vote for Darren Aronofsky, but that's just a pipe dream...