Apple to Create TV Series Based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Sci-Fi Trilogy

Michael Whelan Isaac Asimov Foundation

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Apple has outbid multiple competing firms, scoring the exclusive rights to an adapted TV series based on Isaac Asimov’s acclaimed Foundation science fiction novel trilogy, according to  a Deadline report published this morning.

The series, which was green-lit last June by the Asimov estate, and will be developed in collaboration with Skydance Television, is staged to embody a slate of TV shows based entirely on Asimov’s renowned Sci-Fi trilogy of novels which have heralded other science fiction series including Star Wars and “many other sci-fi films and TV series,” the report noted.

The show will be developed by executive producers and showrunners, David S. Goyer — regarded for his work on the upcoming Terminator reboot, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, and Ghost Rider — along with Joshua Friedman — who’s credited for his work on Avatar 2, the War of the World’s remake, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Goyer and Friedman will reportedly collaborate with Skydance Television’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross, leading the effort on Apple’s behalf.

“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,” Deadline explains of the original Asimov works, adding that “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.”

Deadline reports that Asimov’s Foundation trilogy has been attempted as an adaptation by a number of leading outlets, including 21st Century FOX, Warner Bros., Sony Television and even HBO, over the years.

Additionally, “many top sci-fi writers” have written and re-written scripts for an “adapted series” — though they “found it daunting to constrict the sprawling saga to a feature film format,” the report noted.

If all goes according to Apple’s plans and expectations, the Asimov TV series will represent one of the most ambitious endeavors undertaken by Cupertino’s Worldwide Video Programming team, who’s so far secured deals on a wide range of original content expected (but not guaranteed) for an early-2019 release.

Some of Apple’s other upcoming shows include a daytime Drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, a comedy starring Bridesmaids’ Kristen Wiig, a thriller series directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, another TV Drama directed by La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, and many others.

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