Apple has landed the rights to a TV series adaptation of Isaac Asimov‘s seminal sci-fi trilogy, Foundation. They have given the show a straight-to-series order and brought in David S. Goyer, co-writer of The Dark Knight trilogy, to serve as showrunner alongside Josh Friedman (Avatar 2, The Sarah Connor Chronicles).
The book trilogy, which was originally published as a short story in 1942, takes place at a time where humans are scattered all over the universe, residing on different planets but all living under the rule of the Galactic Empire. When a psycho-historian who can see the future foretells that the empire will come under collapse soon, he sets out to ensure that the knowledge of mankind isn’t wiped out.
Foundation was a direct influence on many of the seminal sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s, including Star Wars. Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) tried to get an adaptation off the ground at Sony back in 2011 but when the rights lapsed in 2014, HBO picked them up.
The network set Jonathan Nolan up to adapt Foundation into a drama series, but obviously that never came to fruition and instead he focused his energy on Westworld. That’s when Skydance Television picked up the rights to the sci-fi trilogy, and began shopping them to major networks before Apple pounced.
There’s still a lot up in the air about how Apple is going to release this – and the other projects they’re spearheading such as a Jennifer Aniston/Reese Witherspoon comedy and a musical series from Damien Chazelle – but they’re certainly procuring a lot of talent as they look to make a splash in the streaming world.
Getting experienced and talented creators like Goyer and Friedman on board to adapt a beloved set of sci-fi books is another exciting – and probably profitable – step for Apple as the streaming wars begin to get serious with Disney also looking to compete with Netflix, too.