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'Foundation' — release date, cast, trailer, plot, and all you need to know about the sci-fi saga

Foundation is an adaptation of the sci-fi series of novels by the late Isaac Asimov.
Foundation is an adaptation of the sci-fi series of novels by the late Isaac Asimov. (Image credit: AppleTV+)

Based on the bestselling series of novels, Foundation on Apple TV+ looks like it’s going to be a slick, cinematic-style sci-fi series, full of lavish sets, CGI effects, epic action scenes, and, of course, Jared Harris battling clone emperors. 

The fantasy adaption of Isaac Asimov’s groundbreaking Foundation books follows a band of exiles on a journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization based on knowledge and science amid the fall of a Galactic Empire. It's the latest in a succession of fantasy adaptations competing to be the next Game of Thrones.

Here’s everything you need to know about Foundation before it arrives on Apple TV+ in the autumn, including its epic trailer…

Foundation release date on Apple TV+

The ten-part Foundation series, which has Batman Begins’ David S. Goyer as showrunner, is debuting on Apple TV+ on Friday 24 September, with the first three episodes landing initially. Subsequent episodes will drop on each of the following Fridays on Apple’s streaming service.

Is there a trailer for Foundation?

Yes Apple TV+ has released a two-minute Foundation trailer to whet our appetite and it’s pretty epic with plenty of action sequences, although it kicks off with a rather weird scene involving a baby floating in a tank. You can check out the trailer below...

What’s the plot of Foundation on Apple TV+?

The Foundation saga follows revolutionary Dr. Hari Seldon, who predicts the impending fall of the Empire, and joins a band of loyal followers to venture to the far reaches of the galaxy to establish "The Foundation" in an attempt to preserve the future of civilization. But they come up against the ruling Cleons, a long line of emperor clones, who fear their grasp on the galaxy may be weakening.

Foundation cast — Jared Harris as Hari Seldon

In Foundation, Jared Harris plays soothsaying scientist Dr. Hari Seldon, who predicts the impending fall of a galactic regime ruled by clone emperors. 

Mad Men, The Crown and The Terror star Jared, who’s the son of legendary Irish actor Richard Harris, won a Best Actor BAFTA last year for his role in Chernobyl and is all set to star alongside Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Eddie Marsan as Professor James Moriarty when Sherlock Holmes 3 hits our screens.


Foundation star Jared Harris in Chernobyl. (Image credit: Liam Daniel)

Who else is starring in Foundation?

Lee Pace (Lord of the Rings, Guardians of the Galaxy) is joining Jared Harris as Brother Day, the current emperor of the Galactic empire, while Lou Llobell (Voyagers) will play Gaal Dornick and Leah Harvey (Fighting With My Family) is Salvor Hardin, the first mayor of Terminus. Also among the cast are Terrence Mann as Brother Dusk, Cassian Bilton as Brother Dawn and Alfred Enoch (How To Get Away With Murder, Troy: Fall Of A City) as Raych.

Alfred Enoch in How To Get Away With Murder.

Foundation star Alfred Enoch played Wes Gibbins in How To Get  Away With Murder. (Image credit: Sky)

Foundation — locations and other news

Foundation is the largest scale production ever to be filmed in Ireland near Limerick. Although filming at Troy Studios started in 2019 it was hit badly and closed for a long period by the pandemic. The production was estimated to have created around 500 jobs in the area.

A brief guide to Foundation writer Isaac Asimov and other adaptations of his works

Isaac Asimov.

Isaac Asimov, the prolific American sci-fi author who wrote the Foundation novels. (Image credit: Getty)

American professor of biochemistry Isaac Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 sci-fi books before his death in 1992, including the bestselling Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The first book in the Robot series, I, Robot, loosely inspired the 2004 film starring Will Smith. Asimov’s works are said to have influenced other major sci-fi films including Star Wars and the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.