Apple will bring Isaac Asimov's Foundation to streaming television

Henrietta Brewer
April 12, 2018

Now, Apple just made its growing oeuvre even more interesting with the announcement of a sci-fi series that was previously thought to be unadaptable.

Following in the footsteps of shows like The Handmaid's Tale and Fahrenheit 451, Apple TV is taking a stab at Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. This news comes nearly a year after the announcement that Skydance was in the process of developing the series for television with David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman. In addition to scripting Man of Steel, Goyer has co-written Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Batman Begins, worked on the story for The Dark Knight and its sequel The Dark Knight Rises, and created the Superman prequel Krypton.

Deadline reports that Apple landed the rights to an adaptation of a Foundation TV series after a highly competitive bidding war for the project.

The trilogy consists of Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation, covering an epic story about a galactic empire.

Asimov is one of the titans of 20th-century sci-fi, but the Foundation trilogy doesn't really offer a neat plot for screen adaptation. The company has not said if it will distribute them through its own iTunes Store, where it sells shows and films by other companies, or on another platform. Goyer and Friedman will be executive producers and showrunners.

Fox, Warner Bros. and Sony have all tried to crack the nut that is Asimov's Foundation, the last attempt being by filmmaker Roland Emmerich. A series version was formerly attempted at HBO in 2015 with Westworld executive producer Jonathan Nolan, according to Deadline, though none of those projects ever came to fruition given the books' vast scope. But he's also adapted another classic sci-fi novel, H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, for the big screen - to mixed but mostly positive results.

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