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Foundation Season 1 Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

Thanks in large part to the plethora of streaming platforms, and their efforts to outperform the competition and gain a majority hold of the market share, the science fiction genre is currently in a renaissance of sorts. Companies like Amazon and Netflix are spending billions on new content, with a good chunk going to original and adapted sci-fi properties. The last few years have given us impressive entries like HBO's "Raised By Wolves" and "The Nevers," as well as Disney+'s "The Mandalorian," and Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy."

With the resurgence of engaging science fiction TV shows, it was only a matter of time before an adaptation of one of the greatest sci-fi book series, from one of the greatest sci-fi writers, made its way to streaming. But, rest easy, sci-fi fans: Apple TV+ is finally bringing us "Foundation," based on Isaac Asimov's book series of the same name. Here's everything we know so far.

When is Foundation coming to Apple TV+?

Deadline first broke news of a "Foundation" series back in 2017, when Skydance Television entered into negotiations with Isaac Asimov's estate. Less than a year later, Deadline also announced that Apple had not only picked up the project but would also consider it for a straight-to-series order, with David S. Goyer, who scripted megahits like "The Dark Knight" trilogy and "Man of Steel," and Josh Friedman, best known for writing and producing "The Sarah Connor Chronicles," attached as showrunners and executive producers. Not long after Apple acquired the property, the company followed through on the straight-to-series option, ordering a 10-episode first season (via Deadline).

Production of "Foundation," which is largely filmed in Ireland, was halted in March 2020 due to COVID-19, before restarting several months later in October (via Deadline, Independent). Despite the filming delays, Apple released a teaser trailer in June 2020 (via Esquire). According to TechRadar, filming for the series wrapped in April 2021. While Apple has yet to announce a premiere date, the media outlet Lovin Malta reported that the series is set to debut in Fall 2021.

Who's in the cast of Foundation?

In October 2019, actors Lee Pace and Jared Harris were announced as the series' lead actors (via Deadline). Pace is no stranger to big-budget, high-profile enterprises. The Oklahoma native played Thranduil in "The Hobbit" trilogy and Ronan the Accuser in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Pace also starred on the AMC series "Halt and Catch Fire." Harris is likely the more familiar face to many (especially due to Pace being nearly unrecognizable in the MCU franchise). His long resume includes television series such as "Mad Men" and "The Crown," as well as the films "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Lincoln."

The rest of the announced cast consists of somewhat more obscure names, though the anticipated success of "Foundation" will likely turn them into household names. Lou Llobell is a new face, with only one film credit prior to joining the cast of "Foundation." Also on board are Leah Harvey of Britain, Finnish actor Laura Birn, Terrence Mann from "Sense8," and Englishman Cassian Bilton (per IMDb).

What's Foundation about?

The story of "Foundation" is staggeringly massive. Asimov's series consists of seven books, spanning hundreds of years and billions of galactic miles. Set tens of thousands of years in the future, "Foundation" tells the story of the Galactic Empire, which has ruled the cosmos for 12,000 years, and its imminent doom. Hari Seldon, played by Jared Harris, developed a predictive science called psychohistory, which he used to predict not only the collapse of the Galactic Empire but also the 30,000-year-long "dark age" that would follow its demise. With no way to completely avert disaster, Seldon establishes the "Foundation" — a group of the galaxy's top scientists and engineers — and tasks them with preserving millenia of knowledge and civilization (via Britannica, Apple). 

Certainly, with a premise that large, "Foundation" will need multiple seasons to tell Asimov's complete story. Speaking to Lovin Malta, showrunner David S. Goyer (Josh Friedman left the project in 2019, per The Hollywood Reporter) declared an ambitious plan of eight 10-episode seasons for a total of 80 hours of storytelling. However, given the massive $60+ million budget for the series' first season (via Independent), it appears Apple is looking to create its own "Game of Thrones" multi-season epic, which also had eight big-budget seasons.