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Linked by Jason Snell

Apple’s video service developing ‘Foundation’

Lesley Goldberg at The Hollywood Reporter:

Apple is adding another space drama to its roster. The tech giant is developing a drama series based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation book, with David S. Goyer (Batman Begins) and Josh Friedman (Avatar 2, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) attached.

I’m a big sci-fi fan and re-read the Foundation series for The Incomparable a few years ago. What’s clever about this pick-up is that while Asimov built a galaxy-spanning civilization with a lot of interesting aspects, the novels themselves don’t have a lot of things that modern audiences look for like “characters” or “details.” They’re novels of ideas, which is great—because they leave a huge amount of leeway for a television interpretation. It’s as if Gene Roddenberry wrote a detailed account of how the “Star Trek” universe worked, but only wrote a handful of (largely unrelated) stories in the universe.

(Of course, the show could also turn into “Hari Seldon’s Fightin’ Genius Psychohistory Commandos”, which in my opinion would be unfortunate.)

This is the latest in a string of genre acquisitions for Apple, which has already bought a space drama from Ron Moore of “Battlestar Galactica”, and a new take on “Amazing Stories.” I’m pretty sure Apple doesn’t want to spend billions to build a new version of the SyFy channel, but if you’re looking for a breakout hit (like “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld”), science fiction and fantasy seem to be pretty good areas to invest in.

It’s important to note, however, that “Foundation” apparently hasn’t been purchased with a series commitment; the show is “in development”, which means Apple is backing this project at an earlier point in the process than most of the shows it’s picked up. If Apple’s planning on launching its service in mid-2019, “Foundation” is probably a second-wave show, maybe arriving in late 2019 or 2020.