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Apple’s epic Foundation adaptation readies for a September debut with new trailer

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‘You can’t save yourselves, but you can save your legacy’

Our summer reading assignment is in: We have until September to read (or re-read because, yeah, it’s dense) Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation series before the long-gestating TV adaptation arrives on Apple TV Plus. The streamer released a new trailer for the series, showcasing the grandeur — and somewhat fluffed-up action — of Asimov’s futuristic world.

“In the decades since the Foundation series first saw print, Asimov’s prophetic science-fiction work has never been more relevant than it is now,” said showrunner David Goyer (The Dark Knight) in a news release. “Growing up, I devoured Foundation and dreamed of one day seeing it on screen — but a feature film didn’t seem big enough to embrace the ambition. Thanks to the broader landscape of streaming and a valuable partnership with Apple and Skydance, we are able to bring the series to the screen in a way that truly does it justice.”

Jared Harris (Mad Men) leads the series as Hari Seldon, the creator of psychohistory. Guardians of the Galaxy star Lee Pace costars as Brother Day, the current emperor of the galaxy predicted to fall with his empire, while Lou Llobell will reportedly play Gaal, a mathematical whiz who works with Seldon. Laura Birn, Terrence Mann, Cassian Bilton, and Alfred Enoch round out the cast. Here’s the official synopsis:

When revolutionary Dr. Hari Seldon predicts the impending fall of the Empire, he and a band of 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 Hari’s claims, the ruling Cleons — a long line of emperor clones — fear their grasp on the galaxy may be weakening as they’re forced to reckon with the potential reality of losing their legacy forever.

The tone and scope of the trailer falls somewhere between Game of Thrones and The Expanse. Expect more than one comparison to Dune with that sci-fi bowing later in the fall. It’s big — and clearly a priority to help sell Apple TV Plus to a broader audience.

“It was the greatest science fiction work of all time,” showrunner David Goyer (The Dark Knight) said at spotlight on the series at Apple’s WWDC20 event last June. “If ever there was a company that was hoping to better peoples’ lives through technology, through connectivity, it’s Apple. And that’s something very much that Asimov was hoping to do.”

Foundation premieres on Apple TV Plus on Sept. 24.