Apple is still leaning heavily into the “quality over quantity” approach to its Apple TV+ streaming platform, at least in terms of budgets and scopes and themes (which is why it will presumably continue to just make its own stuff rather than fight over the licensing rights to various NBC sitcoms), and that seems more true than ever with this trailer for Foundation—the platform’s upcoming adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s legendary sci-fi saga. The previous teaser, released last summer, was mostly quick, context-less clips from the show paired with people talking about how Important the books are and how Important the show will be, but the new trailer is all about big sci-fi action and big talk about big ideas. There’s not telling if the show will be good, but nobody can accuse Apple of just slapping this thing together.
We’ve mentioned in previous coverage that Apple seems to be taking some liberties with the plot of this adaptation (is this where we mention that it was written by David S. Goyer?), but the basic setup is that a space-empire in the distant future has ruled the galaxy for many years unchecked, until a smart guy does some space-math and realizes, “Hey, what if space-empire is bad and doomed to fail?”
The Asimov books seem to be largely about how one would go about mitigating the damage from the fall of the space-empire, in hopes of finding a way to keep society from collapsing for a millennia, but Apple is jacking things up a bit (at least in this trailer) with an emphasis on spaceship battles and giant sci-fi cities built around enormous golden statues, with Lee Pace playing the emperor of the galaxy (a role he was born for, in a TV show or in real life) and Jared Harris playing Hari Seldon (the mathematics genius who discovers a way to predict a society’s behavior, allowing him to see the empire’s fall coming). Along with this new trailer, Apple also announced that the show will be premiering on September 24, exclusively on Apple TV+.