As cable networks and streaming services continue dealing with a heavy dose of Game of Thrones envy, Apple is looking to legendary author Isaac Asimov for their answer. In what is being described as a “competitive situation,” Apple has secured the rights to bring the writer’s original seminal science fiction novel trilogy Foundation to television as a series.
David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) and Josh Friedman (Avatar 2) developed the project, which has been put into development for straight-to-series consideration. In their exclusive reporting, Deadline Hollywood also states that Goyer & Friedman will serve as showrunners and will executive produce alongside Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross.
Originally published as a short story series in Astounding Magazine in 1942, here’s an overview of Asimov’s initial Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation):
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future — to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire — both scientists and scholars — and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun — or fight them and be destroyed.
Apple’s decision to bring Foundation to series isn’t the first time Hollywood’s flirted with Asimov’s work. Fox, Warner Bros., and Sony have all attempted big screen adaptations, but found film to be too confining for the story’s scope. On the television front, HBO made an attempt as a series with Independence Day director Roland Emmerich and Westworld executive producer Jonathan Nolan.
Foundation adds to a Skydance Televison programming slate that also includes Altered Carbon, Grace and Frankie, Condor, Jack Ryan, and Dietland. For Apple, the project is another example of the company’s commitment to scripted original programming; a commitment that also includes a morning show drama executive produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon; a re-imagining of Steven Spielberg‘s anthology series Amazing Stories; a Ronald D. Moore space drama; a Damien Chazelle series; a comedy starring Kristin Wiig; world-building drama See; and a psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan.