Skydance Television is close to finalizing a deal for David Goyer (The Dark Knight, Krypton) and Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) to adapt Isaac Asmiov‘s Foundation series for television. Serving as the television arm of the same production company behind such films as World War Z and the recent Star Trek movies, Skydance Television is working with the Asimov estate to secure the rights to the late sci-fi icon’s epic tale, though no networks or streaming services are officially involved with the project as of this writing.
Asimov’s original Foundation series (Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation) introduces us to researcher/mathematician Hari Seldon, who has developed a new science called psychohistory that’s showing him the imminent fall of the ruling Galactic Empire across the entire Milky Way galaxy followed by galaxy-wide “dark age” that will last for 30,000 years. Seeking to change humanity’s fate, Seldon establishes a community of engineers, artists and thinkers at the far end of the galaxy: a “foundation” that might be able to find a way to reduce the “dark age” to only 1,000 years and bring about a new and grander empire.
Asimov’s work was originally published in Astounding magazine from 1942 to 1950, and then collected into three books in the early 1950’s. It would be another thirty years before Asimov would return to the series with Foundation’s Edge (1982), and he would return to the series again for sequel Foundation and Earth and the prequels Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. Asimov’s estate authorized additional books in the series from a number of noted sci-fi writers after his death, including: Gregory Benford‘s Foundation’s Fear; Greg Bear‘s Foundation and Chaos; and David Brin‘s Foundation’s Triumph.
This isn’t the first attempt at a Foundation adapatation, with Fox, Warner Bros. and Sony attempting to turn Asimov’s trilogy into a film franchise, with script attempts by some of the biggest names in sci-fi. HBO had recently attempted a series with Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) and Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar, Westworld) but negotiations never moved beyond discussions.