Okay, Apple, now you’ve got my attention.
Not content with landing an Amazing Stories reboot from Steven Spielberg, multiple series from Reese Witherspoon, a space opera from Ron Moore and much more for its upcoming original TV initiative (which might launch next March), Apple is also developing a series based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books.
Deadline reports that the project from Skydance Television is “in development for straight-to-series consideration,” with David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman attached as showrunners. Goyer is best-known for comic book adaptations like Blade, Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, while Friedman was the creator of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The Foundation stories depict the fall of a massive galactic empire, and the efforts of a small group of scientists to preserve knowledge and restore civilization. They were first published in Astounding Science Fiction in the 1940s, then collected into three books in the ’50s. (At the 1966 World Science Fiction Convention, the series beat out Lord of the Rings to win the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series.)
Asimov (a legendary science fiction and science writer, as well as an occasional computer pitchman) returned to the series near the end of his career, and while the later books are not as well-loved by fans, they also won him awards and landed him on The New York Times bestseller list for the first time.
If you want to read thousands more words about why the books mean a lot to me, be my guest. But when it comes to a TV adaptation, two points seem salient: One, the books take place over hundreds of years, with a constantly rotating cast of characters, and two, they consist almost entirely of conversation, with just a few brief scenes of action.
That may be why previous attempts to adapt Foundation — including an effort at HBO by Goyer’s Dark Knight co-writer Jonathan Nolan — have failed. If this one pans out, I suspect we’ll see some pretty big changes.