Today is Apple’s big World Wide Developer’s Conference, and the company took the opportunity to provide a first look at its upcoming adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic novel Foundation, teasing an epic space opera with some incredible-looking visuals.
The trailer gives us an idea of what the highly-anticipated series will look like. David Goyer provides a brief preamble to the teaser, in which he explains that Foundation was a huge influence on Star Wars, and that people have been working for ages to try and adapted.
The series stars Lee Pace (Halt and Catch Fire) as Brother Day, the emperor of the Galaxy and Jared Harris (Chernobyl) as Hari Seldon, a mathematician who has predicted the downfall of the galactic empire, and moves to create a compendium of all knowledge called the Encyclopedia Galactica as a way to shorten the impending dark ages.
In the teaser, Seldon tells his companion, Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell), a fellow mathematician, that he’s about to be arrested for his mathematical theory psychohistory, noting that people believe that he can predict the future with it. There are some stunning visuals here as well: spaceships flying through outer space, space elevators, and some beautiful planetary scenery. The series also stars Leah Harvey, Laura Birn, Terrence Mann, and Casian Bilton.
There have been many attempts over the years to adapt Foundation in some form: the BBC produced a radio drama of the series in the 1970s, but a film adaptation has been more elusive. Stargate director Roland Emmerich was tapped to direct a film in 2009, while HBO brought on Jonathan Nolan (who wrote Interstellar and co-created Westworld) to produce a TV series in 2014.
The project then jumped over to Apple in 2018 when the company announced that it was getting into the streaming video market, with Goyer and Josh Friedman set to develop the project. In August, it gave the project a direct-to-series order, and it’s since been in production.
That original content is designed to entice new users into signing up for the service, or to buy new Apple devices (in which case, it comes free for a year). Foundation is the latest high-profile project from the company to join the service.
The show joins a growing lineup of other projects from the tech company, which launched Apple TV + last winter with a small slate of original programming, including an alternate history space series called For All Mankind from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore, post-apocalyptic series See, and others. It’s slowly been rolling out other projects, like a reboot of the anthology series Amazing Stories, Defending Jacob and Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet.
Apple didn’t provide an exact release date for when the series would debut on the service, only that it’ll arrive sometime in 2021.