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Apple is making a TV show of “Foundation,” one of Elon Musk’s favorite books



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Dave Mosher/Business

  • Apple has ordered a TV series based on “Foundation,” a
    classic 1951 novel by Issac Asimov.
  • “Foundation” is considered one of the cornerstones of
    science fiction: No less than Elon Musk has said that it’s
    inspired him as he and his SpaceX seek to push humanity out to
    Mars and beyond. 

It’s official: Apple has given a series order to “Foundation,” a
TV drama based on the
1951 Isaac Asimov novel of the same name
, as
Variety reports

The show itself comes with a pedigree, with David S.
Goyer (of “The Dark Knight” screenwriting fame) and Josh Friedman
(creator of “Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles”) at the
helm as showrunners. It’s the latest high-profile project for
Apple’s still-nascent plans to take on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon
in original TV programming. 

The novel, and its two direct sequels, hold an important
place in the science fiction canon. To make a very long,
generations-spanning story short, that trilogy deals with the
titular Foundation — a scientific think tank founded by
“psychohistorian” Hari Seldon to preserve the collective
knowledge of humanity through a centuries-long dark age following
the collapse of a 12,000-year-old intergalactic

The ideas put forward by Asimov in “Foundation” have stood
the test of time. Indeed, no less than Elon Musk has said that
“Foundation” is one of his favorites, and reflects his fears for
the future of human civilization and why it’s so important for
humanity to push out to Mars and beyond.

In 2013,
Musk told the Guardian

“The lessons of history would suggest that civilizations move in
cycles. You can track that back quite far — the Babylonians, the
Sumerians, followed by the Egyptians, the Romans, China.

“We’re obviously in a very upward cycle right now, and hopefully
that remains the case. But it may not. There could be some series
of events that cause that technology level to decline.

“Given that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years where
it’s been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it
seems like we’d be wise to act while the window was open and not
count on the fact it will be open a long time.”

Indeed, it seems that Musk’s admiration for the novels hasn’t
faded over time, either.

Earlier this year, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket famously
launched Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster into space, with a
space-suited dummy in the driver’s seat and David Bowie on the
stereo. Less well-known is that it carried a
quartz-based data storage
device loaded with the “Foundation”
trilogy; a testament to the message of the novels. 

It’s not currently known when the series will premiere, or the
details of Apple’s TV streaming service. However, it’s been
acquiring the rights to several properties for TV series, most
those of a New York Times article on climate change

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