Asimov’s Caves Of Steel headed for the big screen

20th Century Fox has acquired the rights to Isaac Asimov’s speculative fiction novel The Caves of Steel.

John Scott III will write the screenplay, and Henry Hobson has been chosen as the director.

The original novel is a murder mystery, one of a series about the detective robot R. Daneel Olivaw, which is itself part of the larger canon referred to as Asimov’s ‘robot novels’ in which the author depicts a universe in which humans developed humanoid machines as a labor force.

Each book serves to explore an aspect of the history and psychology of that universe, starting from the origins of the ideas and continuing out to the far future, when robots have mostly been forgotten. 

This particular story deals with the suspicious death of an off-world government official. An earthbound detective, Lije Baley is forced to team up with Olivaw, who has been upgraded to look just like a human. Together the two must investigate the death of the official, and the social ramifications of a robot who looks like a man.

As the script is only just being written, there is, of course, no word yet how closely the adaptation will follow the book, but it likely won’t be very close, especially if you consider the Will Smith adaptation of I, Robot, which was loosely based on stories from the same universe.

No production or release dates have been announced for the film.