foundation director

Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders will be laying the foundation for Apple TV+’s highly anticipated adaptation of an Isaac Asimov science-fiction classic. Apple has tapped Sanders as the Foundation director for the pilot episode of the 10-episode series starring Lee Pace and Jared Harris.

Rupert Sanders is the latest feature filmmaker to make the move to TV with Apple TV+’s ambitious adaptation of Foundation. In Sanders’ TV directing debut, the Snow White and the Huntsman director will be helming the pilot episode of the series based on Asimov’s decades-spanning sci-fi saga, Deadline reports.

According to Deadline, Sanders has been looking to make the move to television for a while, but had been waiting for the right project. Sci-fi was a genre that frequently piqued his interest and he is an avowed fans of Asimov’s widely influential novels, which made Foundation an easy fit. Still, the director’s last brush with sci-fi was notably plagued with controversy. In 2017, Sanders helmed an adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, based on the beloved anime, which starred Scarlett Johansson in a role that was criticized for whitewashing. Sanders and Johansson stood by their creative and narrative decisions, but the film was a critical and commercial failure, flopping at the box office and losing upwards of $60 million. Sanders did a good job at aping the striking imagery of the classic and widely influential cyberpunk anime film, but that’s it — which may not bode well for Foundation, a saga that Hollywood has been attempting to adapt for years. Roland Emmerich first tried to adapt it into a feature film at Sony in 2011, and HBO attempted to turn it into a series with Jonathan Nolan in 2014, neither of which attempts came to fruition.

Described as “the epic 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,” Foundation adapts Asimov’s seminal saga that was first published as a trilogy of novels between 1951 and 1953, which was later expanded to a total of seven novels more than 30 years later.

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