A complex saga of humans scattered on planets throughout the galaxy all living under the rule of the Galactic Empire.

In the summer of 2018, I was in a mini writers’ room for Terminator: Dark Fate. In the midst of breaking the film, David Ellison rushed in and announced that the rights for “Foundation” were in play. “Would you be interested in creating a TV show around it?” – he asked me. Foundation was one of the last white whales of science-fiction yet to be adapted. James Cameron was in the room at the time. He looked at me and said: “Foundation. That’s a hard one”. Ellison said I only had 24 hours to decide – many other interested parties and studios were throwing their hats in the ring.


I thought it over that night. I’d been offered to adapt Foundation a few times prior in my career – but only as a feature, and I knew that would be folly. I also knew I wanted a partner in creating the show. Josh Friedman was one of the other writers in the Terminator room, and I asked him if he was interested. We have very different writing styles, but I hoped they might mesh. After some furious deal-making, Skydance won the rights for Foundation. It was a very short option. We had to develop a show, write a pilot, and get the show green-lit within a single year. The Asimov estate had been in development hell for, literally, decades and was not interested in being handcuffed to a studio for years on end.


I knew it would be immensely challenging. We were facing an extremely cerebral source material, a first book with an episodic structure, lots of action happening off-screen, and a lack of female characters. Not to mention that many elements of the books had been strip-mined by other films in the 70 years since publication. I also knew we had to thread a needle between the die-hard book fans and the broader, global audience we would need to draw in to support such a large budget.


Halfway through writing the 3rd episode, Josh left the show. I’d contemplated us doing it in partnership – but now I was doing it alone. Toss in a global pandemic, and it took nearly four years to bring the show to life. In the end, Apple was elated. I was happy… and best of all, we got a 2nd season. Now we get to play jazz with the characters and themes we introduced in Season One, which promises to be highly compelling.

David S. Goyer
David S. Goyer, Josh Friedman
Lou Llobell, Jared Harris, Lee Pace


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