Foundation trailer

“People have been trying to make Foundation for over fifty years.” That’s a quote from Batman Begins screenwriter David S. Goyer, who has finally figured out a way to adapt author Isaac Asimov’s sweeping, seminal science fiction novel series for the screen. The new TV series, which stars Jared Harris and Lee Pace, is heading to Apple TV+ next year, and during today’s Apple keynote presentation, the company unveiled the first teaser trailer for the highly-anticipated adaptation. And while this is just a teaser, it’s an impressive one that makes it seem like it will be worth the long wait.

Foundation Trailer

The first Foundation novel is a heady, analytical, stoic piece of brainy sci-fi storytelling that leans on its concepts instead of action to pull readers in. You know how Star Trek was often referred to as the intellectual sci-fi property? Foundation makes Star Trek look like Star Wars. It pre-dates Trek and has even less action, focusing on scientists sitting in rooms talking about history and numbers and exciting things we don’t see happening. I’ll be curious to see if Goyer sticks to the subject matter here or if he’ll have to veer away from it to keep modern audiences hooked with more action beats.

Here’s the show’s official synopsis:

Based on the award-winning novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire.

The Wikipedia summary paints a fuller picture, though it may contain some light spoilers for those hoping to go in knowing as little as possible:

The premise of the series is that the mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second great empire arises. Seldon’s calculations also show there is a way to limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To ensure the more favorable outcome and reduce human misery during the intervening period, Seldon creates the Foundation – a group of talented artisans and engineers positioned at the twinned extreme ends of the galaxy – to preserve and expand on humanity’s collective knowledge, and thus become the foundation for the accelerated resurgence of this new galactic empire.

Foundation stars SAG Award-winner and Emmy-nominee Jared Harris (Chernobyl, Mad Men) as Hari Seldon, Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Fall) as Brother Day, up-and-coming actress Lou Llobell (the forthcoming film Voyagers) as Gaal, Leah Harvey (Fighting With My Family) as Salvor, Laura Birn (A Walk Among the Tombstones) as Demerzel, Terrence Mann (Critters, Sense8; not James Earl Jones’s character from Field of Dreams) as Brother Dusk, and Cassian Bilton (Shoal) as Brother Dawn.

Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) directed the pilot, and Foundation is currently set to premiere on AppleTV+ sometime in 2021.

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