Apple orders its most ambitious TV series yet: An adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation

As part of its yet-to-launch TV streaming lineup, Apple will develop a series based on Isaac Asimov’s highly influential Foundation series of sci-fi novels, both  and  report.

The series will be helmed by screenwriters and producers David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman, who have individually and previously worked on numerous superhero films and TV series such as , as well as the Terminator franchise.

It will be produced by Skydance Television, which is also responsible for the Netflix sci-fi series .

Foundation takes place after humans have colonized the galaxy and is largely concerned with the efforts of a mathematician who develops a way to predict galactic-scale events through a method called psychohistory, and he consequently discovers that the prosperous galactic empire is doomed to fall. He creates a foundation that seeks to lay the groundwork for the civilization’s reboot after its inevitable collapse.

While the books were popular in their time, Foundation’s legacy far exceeds its readership. The Foundation series—which made its debut in 1942—was an influence on cultural touchstones such as  and  and on key parts of the narrative premise in the very recent video game . It has also been cited as an inspiration by public figures ranging from Elon Musk to Newt Gingrich.

There have been several attempts to adapt Foundation for the screen, but its scope—the story spans hundreds of years and seemingly innumerable societies and characters—has always proven a problem. Deadline recalls that  Director Roland Emmerich once explored the possibility of adapting it, as did producers at both Fox and Warner Bros, and that  and ‘s Jonathan Nolan was in talks with HBO to adapt it as well.

Apple has not given a timeline for when the series will see the light of day, but it will likely be a while, as the process has only just begun. Apple has been hustling in Los Angeles out of its growing office in creative hub Culver City, California, to apply its more-than $1 billion content budget to sign filmmaking and TV producing talent to produce series for an upcoming TV streaming service expected to launch as early as next year. For the past several months, its aggressive efforts have been the talk of tinsel town, so to speak.

However, reports have suggested that the company’s rigid adherence to a family-friendly ethos has frustrated and turned away such talent as  and  Director Alfonso Cuarón. It’s not clear at this point how Foundation fits into that story, but it’s worth noting that Apple had already greenlit a series from  reboot showrunner Ronald D. Moore, as well as a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s .

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