EXCLUSIVE: Three months after Apple landed for development a TV series based on Foundation, the seminal Isaac Asimov science fiction novel trilogy, the project has received a 10-episode straight-to-series order.
Foundation, from Skydance Television, David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman, chronicles the thousand year saga of The Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it.
The series order completes an year-long journey for the project. Last June, Deadline revealed that Skydance had made a deal with the Asimov estate and has tapped Goyer and Friedman to crack the code on a sprawling series based on the books that informed Star Wars and many other sci-fi films and TV series.
The package was taken out last spring and, in a competitive situation, it went to Apple, which put it in development for straight-to-series consideration.
Goyer and Friedman serve as executive producers and showrunners. Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross also executive produce, along with Asimov’s daughter, Robyn Asimov.
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.
Its road to the screen has been very long. The trilogy had been tried numerous times as a feature film at Fox, Warner Bros. and then at Sony. Many top sci-fi writers have done scripts and found it daunting to constrict the sprawling saga to a feature film format. Most recently, HBO tried developing a series several years ago.
Goyer’s credits include co-writing the upcoming Terminator reboot as well as the The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Ghost Rider and the Blade franchises and Syfy’s Krypton series, while Friedman’s include Avatar 2, the War of the Worlds remake and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The project shows a new level of ambition for Apple’s worldwide video programming team led by Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, which also has a space drama series from Ron Moore.
This is the second Apple show to start as development and get a series order, joining Are You Sleeping, starring Octavia Spencer.
Skydance Television adds Foundation to a series slate that includes Altered Carbon, Grace and Frankie, Condor, Dietand and the upcoming Jack Ryan.