It’s finally happening…Isaac Asimov’s seminal novel trilogy Foundation will become a series, now that Apple has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order from Skydance.
The history of Foundation being adapted spans many years and many studios, most trying to squeeze the novels into a feature film, with may writers and producers attached including Dante Harper and Roland Emmerich at Sony, and Jeff Vintar.
Skydance will take a shot on Asimov’s Foundation, David Goyer and Josh Friedman to adapt as TV series
We’ve been following attempts at producing some form of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels into some form of video media – it has long been considered “unfilmable”, given the complex stories and long time span they cover. We’ve been waiting pretty much since we started this site 17 years ago. We’ve seen various writers, producers, directors and studios involved, most recently with Sony and Roland Emmerich involved starting in 2009, and adding Dante Harper (Alien: Covenant) in 2011 as a writer followed by Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar). And like every other attempt, it vaporized.
Now Skydance Television wants a shot at it, and they are putting up David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman as collateral.
According to Deadline, Skydance is aiming at a TV series, with Goyer (Man of Steel) and Friedman (Avatar 2) working on a script. The Foundation series of novels center around mathematician Hari Seldon, who develops a new system of mathematics called “psychohistory”, which can model at a grand scale what will happen in the future – and Seldon discovers that the Galactic Empire, which consists of humans populating millions of other worlds, is in danger of imminent collapse and could lead to a Dark Age that could last thousands of years.
Interestingly, the Deadline article mentions one of the difficulties of adapting Foundation is because of Star Wars – because the latter was influenced by Asimov’s themes and the similarities would make it appear like a ripoff – even though Foundation‘s origins were in short stories published starting in 1942. And with Star Wars finding a massive resurgence, that could even make it more difficult – or an easier sell.
It has a long, very steep trajectory out of the gravity well still, but here’s hoping.
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation stories seem to have long been a pipe dream of SF-aware producers to get to the big screen…even the latest developments have been long dormant, when Sony won the bidding war almost 3 years ago for the rights after Warner Bros. let them lapse, and it was previously in development with Fox. Well at last there is movement again, with Sony Pictures announcing that Dante Harper has been hired to adapt it.
Harper appears to be relatively new on the writing scene, working on Black Hole for David Fincher/Paramount (based on the graphic novel by Charles Burns), and rewrote the upcoming Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for Paramount/MGM/Spyglass. Roland Emmerich is still set to direct.
The Foundation series of novels center around mathematician Hari Seldon, who develops a new system of mathematics called “psychohistory”, which can model at a grand scale what will happen in the future – and Seldon discovers that the Galactic Empire, which consists of humans populating millions of other worlds, is in danger of immanent collapse and could lead to a Dark Age that could last thousands of years.
Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day) and Sony/Columbia have won the bidding war to finally bring Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, with Emmerich and his partner Michael Wimer producing. Emmerich also has a remake of Fantastic Voyage (for which Asimov wrote the novelization based on the original screenplay) on his plate (although perhaps consigned to development hell), and 2012, about the apocalypse predicted by the Mayan calendar, coming out this year, although its release has been delayed until November 13th.