Jonathan Nolan Developing 'Foundation' TV Series for HBO

Foundation books

With Christopher Nolan's latest thought-provoking sci-fi drama Interstellar having almost recouped its entire $165 million production budget over the course of a single week, his brother - and co-screenwriter - Jonathan Nolan has got to be on cloud nine right about now. Not that he has any plans to rest on his laurels, as the latter Nolan is already diving headfirst into his next project.

According to a report by The Wrap, Jonathan Nolan is teaming up with HBO and Warner Bros. TV to create a small-screen series based on Isaac Asimov's Hugo Award-winning Foundation trilogy of novels.

Kicking off with original novel of the same name from 1951, the Foundation trilogy centers on genius mathematician Hari Seldon, who has devoted his life's work to the development of a scientific concept called psychohistory. Through usage of this method, Seldon is able to predict the imminent fall of the Galactic Empire that governs humanity, a toppling that will be followed by 30,000 years of anarchy and despair before a new empire rises. However, Seldon posits that an alternative path forward could lead to the much quicker formation of a new governing empire, and sets out to gather a group of the galaxy's most creative and intelligent minds that will serve as the foundation of humanity's uncertain future.

The original Foundation book was followed by sequels Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, tomes which served to further expand and continue Seldon's journey. A few decades later, two additional novels were added to the series, entitled Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, as well two prequels that set out to tell the story that led to Foundation. The initial trilogy is generally regarded more highly than the follow-ups, though, and Nolan is said to be basing the Foundation TV series exclusively on those three books.

Foundation books 2

For what it's worth, Nolan - who is also currently developing a remake of Westworld for HBO - has yet to publicly confirm the above report's accuracy. Both HBO and Warner Bros. also have yet to comment on the story. Still, The Wrap claims to have multiple sources that confirm its veracity.

If true, this will mark Jonathan Nolan's third TV project after Westworld and the ongoing CBS hit Person of Interest. So far, there has been no indication that either J.J. Abrams or his Bad Robot production company will once again collaborate with Nolan on this new venture, but it wouldn't be at all surprising if that turns out to be the case.

Nolan, who also co-wrote The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, clearly has a great love for both science fiction in general and the Foundation books in particular, as evidenced by this recent quote from an Indiewire interview.

Well, I ****ing love the ‘Foundation’ novels by Isaac Asimov. They're certainly not [unknown], 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 ****ing 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 ****ing hair on fire.

Vulgarities aside, it's very apparent that Jonathan Nolan would see it as a personal victory to bring Asimov's Foundation trilogy to the masses. After all, Game of Thrones has led to many more people reading George R.R. Martin's books, and True Blood sparked tons of interest in the Charlaine Harris novels that spawned them. Who's to say that an HBO adaptation of Foundation wouldn't reignite public interest in the works of Isaac Asimov?

The Foundation TV series is in early development, and has no current premiere date.

Source: The Wrap

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