Exclusive: Roland Emmerich & John Orloff Look to the Future

While they’ve spent nearly ten years collaborating on the historic epic Anonymous about the rumors and myths surrounding the real author of William Shakespeare’s works, director Roland Emmerich and screenwriter John Orloff (HBO’s “Band of Brothers”) will be spending the next few years working on the future with their upcoming projects that explore science fiction, both familiar and original. ComingSoon.net spoke to both filmmakers earlier in the week, and we asked about these futuristic projects.

Emmerich has remained fairly mum about his next project Singularity, which already has a release date in May 2013, although it’s been known that it’s science fiction and he has said it’s about the melding of man and machine.

“It’s smarter science fiction. It’s more in the direction of ‘Inception’ – it has a little more brain to it,” he told us during an exclusive interview.

With a title like Singularity and that general premise, one has to assume the movie has a connection to the work and writings of Ray Kurzweil (whom ComingSoon.net interviewed a few years back) and Emmerich admits that Kurzweil is his biggest influence for the movie. The German director hasn’t met Kurzweil himself, but he hopes he’ll have a chance one of these days, claiming to be one of his biggest fans. “I’ve read his book, the first one, since 1990, which was called ‘The Age of Intelligent Machines,’ and then I think the ‘Age of Spiritual Machines,’ which came out 2000, is a book I bought so many copies of and I’m constantly giving them to people. When you come to my house for dinner, most people have walked out with that book,” he laughs.

He wouldn’t tell us how they’re progressing on the casting process, but the plan is to start filming at the end of March in Montreal where he also shot The Day After Tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Emmerich’s long-planned adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation is moving ahead with new writer Dante Harper (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) taking a crack at it, although the director admits that it’s been in “development hell” up until now, since they haven’t been able to get it right, telling us that the plan to adapt the books into three movies is creating some of the complications.

The day before we spoke to Anonymous screenwriter John Orloff, it was announced he would be writing the screenplay for Bryan Singer’s Battlestar Galactica, based on the popular television show created by Glen A. Larson in the late ’70s and then updated more recently by Ron Moore.

Orloff considers himself a diehard fan of both shows–the original show as a kid and Ron Moore’s show as an adult–and he’s “excited to add his two cents to the Battlestar Universe,” though other than that, he really doesn’t want to say anything more about how he plans to integrate the two shows into a movie, other than saying how he’s wanted to write a science fiction epic his whole life.

It would seem like a strange departure for someone who has written so much historic stuff, but he disagrees. “Think about it for a second,” he said, “They’re both other times and what you’re doing is examining our society through the prism or lens of another reality, whether it’s a historical piece or a future piece, and I think that’s what’s the common denominator in what I do.”

While he starts working on that, Orloff has another historic epic he wrote roughly ten years ago about the rise to power of Julius Caesar, which has a new director attached to it. Although he wouldn’t say who that was, he admits he’s as obsessed about the life of Julius Caesar as he is with Shakespeare, but he won’t be debunking another aspect of the bard’s work, because his movie ends well before the point where Shakespeare’s own play about Caesar begins.

Look for our full interviews with Emmerich and Orloff before the release of Anonymous on Friday, October 28.

(Photo Credit: Ian Wilson/WENN.com)

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