Apple inks deal for Isaac Asimov ‘Foundation’ TV series

“In a competitive situation, Apple has nabbed a TV series adaptation of Foundation, the seminal Isaac Asimov science fiction novel trilogy,” Mike Fleming Jr. and Nellie Andreeva report for Deadline. “The project, from Skydance Television, has been put in development for straight-to-series consideration. Deadline revealed last June that Skydance had made a deal with the Asimov estate and that David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman were cracking the code on a sprawling series based on the books that informed Star Wars and many other sci-fi films and TV series.”

“Originally published as a short story series in Astounding Magazine in 1942, Asimov’s Foundation is the complex saga of humans scattered on planets throughout the galaxy, all living under the rule of the Galactic Empire,” Fleming and Andreeva report. “The protagonist is a psycho-historian who has an ability to read the future and foresees the empire’s imminent collapse. He sets out to save the knowledge of mankind from being wiped out.”

“Many top sci-fi writers have done scripts and found it daunting to constrict the sprawling saga to a feature film format,” Fleming and Andreeva report. “Goyer’s credits include co-writing the upcoming Terminator reboot now in preproduction as well as the The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Ghost Rider and the Blade franchises, while Friedman’s include Avatar 2, the War of the Worlds remake and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”

Read more in the full article here.

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    1. Even did my own credits in a student project for an imagined film version of it at art school, jeez I’m semi retired now. Always wanted someone to try to do something with it, the only example I know is a BBC radio adaptation from my childhood. Just hope any series can even remotely do justice to the original concept. Regarding that I think ‘future reading protagonist’ hardly does justice to the mathematical science and theories created by the protagonist that forms the very core of the overal context of the books. It’s not exactly a crystal ball he uses and like so much of Asimov’s work envisions much that is presently imagined in labs, or actively worked on today even if somewhat limited by comparison.

      1. I think there’s 14 books in the entire story arc which revolves around one central character. Don’t want to say too much in case people have only read the trilogy. Every few years I read the entire set of books in order. Just fantastic.

        1. I understand that one way to look at the novels written ‘starts’ Foundation not at book 1 but with “The Robots of Dawn” and links many books to ‘end’ at the Foundation trilogy.

        2. You could start with I, Robot. There are fan sites that outline the timeline of events and what order to read the books in. It’s a fun read start to finish. A few of the books are not written by Asimov but continue the story. Wikipedia has the list of books, just Google “Foundation series Wikipedia” then go to the section titled “List of books within the Foundation Universe”.

  1. Read the trilogy when I was a kid, loved it. The covers for the hardcover versions looked like optical art, too, and the paperbacks were better.

    But I’ll pass on this. Too many cases of seeing beloved books ruined by the transition to movies or TV series.

    People who’ve never read the Foundation series will enjoy watching it the most, though. I envy them.

  2. MDN’s take may prove prophetic in both huge success or massive failure of bringing the series to TV for Apple. Here’s hoping for the former! Love the Foundation series. The story is grand so looking forward to similar to better quality than “The Expanse”.

  3. Psychohistory. The word had a nice ring back then. Now,, — I’ve been reading another Hugo winner, Robert J. Sawyer’s study of psychopaths, Quantum Night. It’s chilling to realise there may be many more of them out there, people that never have that chilling feeling. Some of them can fake it real well tho..

    1. I’ve incorporated some of the concepts of psychohistory into some of the modeling I’ve done, to see if similar principles and cycles could be manifested on a shorter scale. I’ve been pleased with the results so far. On that second 9-11 day I found out about the event from a phone call. I still remember my reply “What took them so long?”

      It’s one of the reasons I’m so optimistic about the future. Got to go with what works.

      1. Yes it was:

        Keep in mind that the movie had a number of false starts over many years. It took David Lynch to pull it together into something coherent, sort of. Then the producers chopped it to hell and made a gawd awful mess of it, forcing Lynch to take his name off the credits. The book is incredibly complicated. I was happy both the original film and TV series were as good as they were. Both were severely wanting with regard to the full novel’s story. It’s a book I recommend to every living human who can read. The sequels, meh.

  4. Ahem! Foundation ain’t no trilogy! Here’s the list of books in story chronological order:

    1) Prelude to Foundation
    2) Forward the Foundation
    3) Foundation
    4) Foundation and Empire
    5) Second Foundation

    6) Foundation’s Edge
    7) Foundation and Earth

    #3-5 were the original ‘trilogy’.

    Favorite quote, entirely applicable today:
    “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
    ― Isaac Asimov, Foundation

    Further quotes:

  5. While I am not fanatical about tomes nor do I like sci if books, I just finished reading “The 2nd Foundation” after having read “The Foundation” and “The Foundation & Empire” last year. I anjoyed the story because it did not seem like sci if, but more like prophecy and plausible.

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