The man behind ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman Begins’, David S. Goyer is the showrunner and executive producer of Apple TV+ upcoming sci-fi series ‘Foundation‘ sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the challenges of creating an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s epic Foundation trilogy for Apple, the right duration to tell the evolving storyline, budget and more.
Produced by Skydance Television with Robyn Asimov, Josh Friedman, Dana Goldberg, and others, ‘Foundation’ will premiere on September 24, worldwide as a “chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire.” Starring Jared Harris as Dr.Hari Seldon, Lee Pace as Brother Day, Lou Llobell as Gall Dornick, Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin, and others, the series will showcase the power struggle between a revolutionary Dr. Hari trying to preserve the future and the ruling Cleons (lone line of emperor clones) trying to preserve their legacy.
Although the description of the adaption of makes sense, but Goyer explains it was as easy to narrow down Asimov’s story in three parts into a show because Foundation is a concept-driven rather than character-driven story of a Galactic Empire, stretched over 1000 years, with constantly changing emperors, characters, time jumps, and more. Therefore, Goyer added the concept of clone emperors to give the audience a footnote and sense of continuity as the story progresses from season to season.
So without giving too much away, I figured out a way to have some of the characters extend their lifespans. About six characters will continue from season to season, from century to century. That way it becomes a half anthological, half continuing story.
David S. Goyer’s one-sentence pitch for the Apple TV+ new ‘Foundation’
As interesting as this show seems, its pitch was even more interesting. Asked to pitch the show in one sentence as a light joke, Goyer took the challenge head-on. He said:
“It’s a 1,000-year chess game between Hari Seldon and the Empire, and all the characters in between are the pawns, but some of the pawns over the course of this saga end up becoming kings and queens.”
Happy with Apple’s cooperation and big-budget, Goyer hopes to efficiently incorporate the missing emotional element and adequate time to tell the story of this generational saga.
But the anthological time element didn’t take me too long to figure out. What was [harder] to figure out was: How do I make the show emotional? Because the books aren’t particularly emotional and, in general with television, people watch for emotion. They want to fall in love with these characters. So I had to figure out ways of using Asimov’s themes and ideas, but internalizing them into the characters.
Goyer once again reiterated his 80-hour figure in 8 seasons which “Apple, by and large, went for it.” Earlier, he said:
The audience is changing. The way that we’re consuming stories is changing. Game of Thrones was really the first of these big, giant novelistic shows, and now with Foundation we can tell the story hopefully over the course of 80 episodes, 80 hours, as opposed to trying to condense it all into two or three hours for a single film.
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