'Foundation' showrunner sold the series to Apple with this one sentence

Foundation (Image credit: Apple TV+)

What you need to know

  • Foundation is coming to Apple TV+ in September.
  • The series' showrunner has revealed the company asked him to pitch the story in one sentence.
  • He also revealed why other adaptations haven't quite worked.

Foundation is set to debut on Apple TV+ on September 24, and if the trailers are anything to go by it could be one of the best shows on the platform to date.

Turns out it didn't take much to convince Apple of the show's prospects, as this week showrunner David S. Goyer revealed he was asked to pitch the show to Apple with a single sentence, apparently to great effect.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Goyer revealed that Apple sort of jokingly "asked me if I could pitch it in one sentence." So what did he say?

'It's a 1,000-year chess game between Hari Seldon and the Empire, and all the characters in between are the pawns, but some of the pawns over the course of this saga end up becoming kings and queens.'

The pitch obviously worked, and the show is set to debut its first season on September 24 exclusively on Apple TV+. Goyer revealed that he pitched the story as a mammoth 80-hour blockbuster that will play out over eight seasons, putting it squarely into the Game of Thrones bracket when it comes to watch time.

Goyer also revealed why some of the trilogy's previous adaptations haven't quite worked:

"There are three tricky aspects to Foundation that I think have tripped up all the other adaptations," he said. "The first is that the story is supposed to span 1,000 years with all these massive time jumps — that's hard to tell. It's certainly hard to capsulize in a two- or three-hour film. The second aspect is, the books are kind of anthological. You'll have a couple of short stories in the first book with main character Salvor Hardin, then you'll jump forward a hundred years and there'll be a different character." The third thing is that they're not particularly emotional; they're books about ideas, about concepts. So a lot of the action happens off-screen. In the books, the Empire, which is on 10,000 worlds, literally falls off-screen — like, it happens in between chapters. Obviously, that wasn't going to work for a television show. So without giving too much away, I figured out a way to have some of the characters extend their lifespans. About six characters will continue from season to season, from century to century. That way it becomes half anthological, half continuing story."

The trailers for Foundation look absolutely electric, and if the show lives up to the hype it could be absolutely incredible.

Whilst you're waiting, you can check out season two of Ted Lasso and the Best TVs for Apple TV 2021.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9