5. FOUNDATION, BY ISAAC ASIMOV (1951)

Status: Seemingly on hold

The first part of Isaac Asimov’s sprawling Foundation series would be a colossal undertaking for any movie studio, but if some executives would just get behind it and hire some visionary talent, it could also be a game changer of Avatar proportions. Foundation is set in a futuristic world where a group of scientists take it upon themselves to preserve the knowledge of the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire as the society around them begins to devolve into barbarism.

There was a brief moment of fear when Roland Emmerich was hired to direct an adaptation of the novel in early 2010, but there hasn't been much forward movement to speak of since. Hopefully we never hear his name attached to the film ever again. Any director who takes this project on has to respect the intellectualism that Asimov brought to the novel. It shouldn’t just be a big-budget sci-fi action extravaganza. Then again, we’re talking about Hollywood here, so we're not holding our breath.