How David S. Goyer pitched ‘Foundation’ to Apple in a single sentence

David S. Goyer is taking a break from superheroes by adapting an iconic — and notoriously creatively complex — title for Apple TV+: Isaac Asimov’s epic Foundation trilogy for Apple, who asked him to pitch it in a single sentence!

“Foundation” will debut globally September 24, 2021, exclusively on Apple TV+.
“Foundation” will debut globally September 24, 2021, exclusively on Apple TV+.

James Hibberd for The Hollywood Reporter:

[THR}: Apple actually asked you to pitch Foundation in single sentence?

[Goyer]: They sort of asked it laughingly. I said: “It’s a 1,000-year chess game between Hari Seldon and the Empire, and all the characters in between are the pawns, but some of the pawns over the course of this saga end up becoming kings and queens.” It’s a generational saga. But the anthological time element didn’t take me too long to figure out. What was [harder] to figure out was: How do I make the show emotional? Because the books aren’t particularly emotional and, in general with television, people watch for emotion. They want to fall in love with these characters. So I had to figure out ways of using Asimov’s themes and ideas, but internalizing them into the characters.

How does the Apple series compare to when you were prepping Foundation as a feature film?

If I were to do it as features, even if it were a trilogy of large features, that would be about nine hours. I pitched this as eight seasons, so if it works out, I get 80 hours.

I’ve read you suggesting that number before. What is Apple’s reaction to it?

No one knows if it will work, but I can say there’s definitely never been a show like it on TV before. It takes some big-ass swings. And Apple, by and large, went for it. We do very unusual things in the show. We use unusual structural things. They had some trepidation about the science of it all. [Apple TV+ chiefs] Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg had come from Sony, so they had done The Crown and Breaking Bad, and I remember what I said to them was: “Don’t note me on the science-fiction. I can handle the science fiction. Note me on the drama, note me on the characters, note me on their relationships. I’ll take care of the other crap.”

MacDailyNews Take: Two months to go. We can’t wait!


      1. Quality vrs quantity, I hope.

        They could do 34 episodes per season by having very big casts – an actor who was the lead in one episode might be a walk-on in another. Also a few fixed sets where characters can talk about what happened, rather than actually showing it. And a reliance on relatively bland lighting and direction that was always the same. Even then, it was still very demanding on the actors and production crew.

        1. It’s a bit like Apllespaznique. He’s very big of quantity, very shallow on quality. Like Microsoft updates.

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