Interview by Paul Salfen
Interview with Teleplay Writer David S. Goyer and Actors Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell and Leah Henry
Based on the award-winning novels by Isaac Asimov, “Foundation” is a thrilling and emotional epic saga that chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save the fate of humanity amid the fall of the Galactic Empire. When revolutionary mathematician Hari Seldon predicts the impending demise of the Empire, he and his loyal followers venture to the far reaches of the galaxy to establish The Foundation in an attempt to rebuild and preserve the future of civilization. Enraged by Seldon’s claims, the ruling Cleons — a long line of emperor clones — fear their unrivaled reign may be weakening as they become forced to reckon with the potential reality of losing their powerful legacy forever.
Nearly eighty years ago, an epochal and seminal work of science-fiction literature represented a
quantum leap in the genre, immediately placing its visionary author in the pantheon of other great
writers whose limitless imaginations invented a new form of literature. The author was the now
legendary Dr. Isaac Asimov, and the books—which began as a series of short stories in a science-
fiction magazine in 1942 and were then published in seven separate volumes from 1951 to 1993—was
the “Foundation” series, winner of the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series. Asimov’s enormously
influential books inspired generations of filmmakers ever since, some of whom openly paid homage to
themes and concepts of “Foundation” in their own work. The book, and its subsequent sequels, were
indeed prominent foundations of modern science fiction, which took the genre from its dime novel
niche into a highly respected literary form.
Yet somehow, through the decades, multiple attempts of committing “Foundation” to either film or
television ultimately failed to come to fruition…until now. Creator, executive producer, writer and
director David S. Goyer — a major force in the cinematic realm whose previous projects include “The
Dark Knight,” “Batman Begins,” “Man of Steel,” the “Blade” franchises and the upcoming “Sandman”
series — has joined forces with Apple TV+ and Skydance Television to finally give Asimov’s novels the
onscreen treatment it deserves.
Utilizing the central ideas and core characters of Asimov’s novels to ambitiously bring his text into
contemporary focus, the adaptation tackles thought-provoking and complex concepts of time, space,
philosophy, politics, religion, science, love, family and the most fundamental question of all — what it
means to be a human being — all while telling a thrilling, emotional story. Infused with often poetic
visuals and drama, the series chronicles a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the
galaxy from destruction is to defy those in power.
The rights to “Foundation” have been held by many studios and production companies through the
years, which made it seemingly impossible to fulfill a long-held dream of a man who had loved the
books for many years — David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media and “Foundation” executive producer.
“I will never forget reading ‘Foundation’ as a kid,” he reveals. “It was my gateway into science fiction.
It was ‘Star Wars’ before ‘Star Wars.’ Since the inception of Skydance, we had been trying to get the
rights, constantly tracking it for a very long period of time.”
Ellison felt that it would be a perfect fit for his company’s internal philosophy and ambitions. “We have
a couple of thematics at Skydance. One is to aim incredibly high. We truly believe that quality is the
best business plan and always strive for the absolute best storytelling that we can deliver with the
filmmaking team that we’re working with.” He continues, “We’re also big believers in where
entertainment is heading and constantly trying to raise the bar to show audiences something they’ve
never seen before. It’s a testament to David Goyer and his vision, and to our cast and crew that helped
bring this to life, that ‘Foundation’ is unlike anything that has ever been seen on television.”