The man behind the man behind Interstellar, Jonathan Nolan, is developing a new sci-fi series for HBO and WBTV called Foundation. Based on the trilogy of futuristic novels by decorated genre author Isaac Asimov, Nolan’s adaptation will be his second collaboration with HBO following his current work on Westworld.
Foundation was originally set up over at Sony with Roland Emmerich lined up to direct. After they let the rights slip, HBO forked out a small fortune to acquire them and have now got Nolan, an unabashed fan of the novels, on board to write and produce.
The first in the series, Foundation “follows mathematician Hari Seldon, who has dedicated his life to developing psychohistory, a concept that uses the laws of mass action to predict the future on a large scale. When he foresees the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire and a dark age that will 30,000 years, he sets out to create a foundation of talented artisans and engineers to preserve and expand on humanity’s collective knowledge with the hope of establishing a new empire.”
Asimov’s novels have long been pilfered by the industry for adaptations, albeit to varying degrees of success. Bicentennial Man and I, Robot aren’t exactly shining examples of sci-fi cinema. However, Foundation will be the first TV series to be based on one of his novels. And with one of the genre’s most adventurous writers at the helm bringing it to the small screen, it’s chances for success are looking good.
As a key figure in this weekend’s major talking point (he wrote the first draft of Interstellar), there was no doubt that Jonathan Nolan would branch out on his own. His flare for bringing ideas to the table is very ambitious, so it’s not a surprise he’s been tapped by HBO. When asked earlier this month by Indiewire about his favourite and most underrated piece of sci-fi literature, there was only one title, which should have really tipped us off back then:
“Well, I fucking love the ‘Foundation’ novels by Isaac Asimov. They’re certainly not well-known, but that’s a set of books I think everyone would benefit from reading. That’s a set of books where the influence they have is just fucking massive. They have many imitators and many have been inspired by them, but go back and read those, and there are some ideas in those that’ll set your fucking hair on fire.”
If that’s not got you excited for Foundation, then I honestly don’t know what will.