Apple moves forward with its adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’

Apple has placed a series order for Foundation, an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic series of science fiction stories and novels.

Deadline reported earlier this year that the show was in development, but this was just the latest of several attempts to adapt Foundation, including a version developed by Westworld’s Jonathan Nolan for HBO.

Now, however, it looks like Foundation really will happen at Apple, with David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman as showrunners. (Like Nolan, Goyer was one of the writers on The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, while Friedman created Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.) The series will be produced by Skydance Television, and Asimov’s daughter Robyn will be one of the executive producers.

The Foundation series (initially a set of stories published in the 1940s, then collected into book form in the ’50s and followed up by long novels that Asimov wrote in the ’80s) focuses on the fall of a long-lived Galactic Empire, with a small group of scientists at the edge of the galaxy working to preserve knowledge and minimize the period of chaos.

Elements of that plot description might make it sound like the ingredients for Apple’s version of Star Wars— and indeed, Asimov’s work is seen as a big influence on George Lucas’ films.

But in its print form, at least, Foundation is far from your typical space opera, focusing more on debate and political intrigue than action, and taking place over hundreds of years, with often interchangeable characters swapped out between stories. In other words, Goyer and Friedman will probably have to make some significant changes.

These are my favorite books by my favorite author, so I’m more excited about this than any of the other original shows that Apple’s planning (even the company’s other space opera, which is being developed by Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore). I sure hope they don’t screw it up.