After years of floundering and false starts on both the big screen and TV, an adaptation of one of the most influential works in science fiction, Isaac Asimov's "Foundation (opens in new tab)," is close to completion.
Apple TV+ has dropped the first teaser trailer (opens in new tab) for its "Foundation" series, which launches in 2021, and we get a glimpse of a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire.
And if that sounds like it has a familiar ring to it, then it's because this epic sci-fi tome heavily influenced George Lucas, much like Frank Herbert's "Dune" did. Asimov’s first (of five) "Foundation" stories was written 1942 and then all five were published as a single novel in 1951.
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Jared Harris — who starred in the epic mini-series "Chernobyl" and the first season of "The Expanse" — plays Hari Seldon; Lee Pace as Brother Day; Lou Llobell as Gaal; Leah Harvey as Salvor; Laura Birn as Demerzel; Terrence Mann as Brother Dusk; and Cassian Bilton as Brother Dawn.
According to Deadline (opens in new tab), "Foundation" will be a 10-episode mini-series that will air next year. It's executive produced by Robyn Asimov, David S. Goyer (co-writer "Dark Knight"), Josh Friedman ("The Sarah Connor Chronicles"), Cameron Welsh, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. The series is produced for Apple by Skydance Television (the company behind the current "Terminator" and "Mission: Impossible" franchises).
For 30 years the series was a trilogy, but Asimov began adding new volumes in 1981, with two sequels, "Foundation's Edge" and "Foundation and Earth" and two prequels, "Prelude to Foundation" and "Forward the Foundation." The additions even made reference to events in Asimov's "Robot" and "Empire" series, suggesting that they were also set in the same fictional universe.
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"Foundation" is set in the declining days of a future Galactic Empire and follows scientist and mathematician Hari Seldon (Harris) who develops a theory of psychohistory. Using this theory, he can predict the future behavior of large populations and foresees the imminent fall of the Empire — which encompasses the entire Milky Way — and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises.
Although the fate of the Empire is fixed, Seldon devises a plan by which "the onrushing mass of events must be deflected just a little" in an attempt to limit this lull to just 1,000 years. He creates the Foundations — two groups of scientists and engineers settled at opposite ends of the galaxy — to preserve the spirit of science and civilization and thus become the building blocks of the new galactic empire.
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