Isaac Asimov’s Foundation sci-fi epic definitely headed for Apple TV

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Foundation was a major influence on Star Wars, and now it's coming to Apple TV.
Foundation was a major influence on Star Wars, and now it's coming to Apple TV.
Photo: Bantam Spectra Books

A few months ago, we heard that Apple was developing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation book series for TV. Today, came word that Apple has committed to turning the sprawling sci-fi epic into a show.

Foundation follows the fall of a galactic empire, and centers on a group of scientists trying to save civilization from chaos.

The Apple TV show will likely be a mix of the robots and starships of Star Wars and the back-stabbing politics of Game of Thrones, just with a lot less sex. Apple reportedly doesn’t want R rated content.

The Foundation challenge

As mentioned, we already knew Apple  was trying to turn Foundation into a TV series, but that doesn’t automatically mean it would succeed. Several movie studios have tried to base a film on the books, but all have eventually backed away.

The biggest challenge is that Foundation takes place over a thousand years and more, with empires and civilizations rising and collapsing in the ruins of one galactic empire.

An impressive pair of writers

The upcoming TV show is being produced by Skydance Television, with David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman signed on to write. 

Goyer’s writing credits include Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and the Blade series. Friedman is best known for is work on the most-recent remake for War Of The Worlds as well as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Robyn Asimov, the great Isaac Asimov’s daughter, will also serve as one of the executive producers.

The mysterious plan Apple TV

Apple now has a couple of dozen TV programs in development.  The company never officially announces these, but details for each show are carefully leaked to the press.

So far, the iPhone maker has (apparently) committed to a version of Time Bandits, an epic starring Aquaman’s Jason Momoa, and a sci-fi drama from the producer of  Battlestar Galactica. Steven Spielberg is even on board with an Amazing Stories reboot. And that’s just for starters.

Apple doesn’t talk openly about these shows because has yet to spell out exactly what it’s going to do with them. The most obvious strategy is an Apple TV service to compete with Netflix and Hulu. Whether that is the plan is unknown.