Apple taps Chernobyl star as lead in Foundation adaptation


Harris' role Chernobyl was some of the best acting of 2019.
Photo: HBO

Apple has landed deals with Lee Pace and Jared Harris that will see the two actors star in the upcoming TV adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s novel Foundation.

The project got off to a rocky start earlier this year when co-showrunner Josh Friedman stepped down to go help James Cameron write the Avatar sequels. David S. Goyer has taken over as the lone showrunner and writer of the series which finally has some serious acting chops behind it too.

Jared Harris recently scored an Emmy nomination for his role in HBO’s mini-series Chernobyl. You might also recognize him from when he played Layne Price in Mad Men or from his time as Professor James Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Lee Pace might be most recognizable for his role as Ronan the Destroyer in the Marvel cinematic universe. He also had a starring role in AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire TV series.

Foundation takes shape

Harris landed to role of Hari Seldon in Foundation according to the Hollywood Reporter. Seldon is a mathematical genius who predicts the eventual fall of the Galactic Empire but creates a way to shorten the millennia of chaos that is sure to follow it. Pace will play Brother Day, who is the current emperor of the galaxy when Seldon makes his discoveries.

Foundation is one of the most ambitious TV projects at Apple. Numerous companies have tried to turn the influential novel into a TV show but failed. HBO most recently wanted Jonathon Nolan to adapt it for TV but he eventually ended up dropping the project and moved onto leading Westworld. The plot for Foundation multiple planets across a galaxy that is slowly falling into chaos with multiple factions fighting for their piece of space.

Details on when production will start haven’t been revealed. The TV show probably won’t land on Apple TV+ until the end of 2020 at the earliest though.