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Now on Apple TV+: ‘Foundation’

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Lee Pace as Emperor Day — Apple TV+

Today, Apple TV+ launches Foundation, the sprawling sci-fi epic based on Isaac Asimov‘s groundbreaking book series. 

Executive produced by David S. Goyer, the show — which some have dubbed “Game of Thrones in space,” centers on an all-powerful, dynastic galactic empire, and a mathematician who predicts, as all empires do, that it’s doomed to fail. 

Goyer told ABC Audio he’d been approached to adapt the Foundation books years ago, but didn’t think a movie could capture it — but for a streaming series, it’s perfect.

“I first read it when I was 13 years old,” Goyer said of Asimov’s seminal work. “My father gave it to me. He said, ‘This is the greatest science fiction work of all time.’ No pressure,” he laughs. “Before he died, he said, ‘I want you to make Foundation.’ No pressure.”

Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Lee Pace plays Brother Day, one in a familial line of Emperors, who sees the math genius, played by Chernobyl Emmy winner Jared Harris, as a threat. 

“I wasn’t good at mathematics,” Harris admitted, noting that he still had to deliver long, “challenging” mathematical monologues. Fortunately, he’s a veteran Shakespearean actor, and as such has experience with complicated language. “Yeah, I fell back on a lot of my theater training for that,” Harris says.

For Pace, the role was a blast. “It’s…surreal…to play the Emperor of the galaxy…[He] is someone who has…power over life and death…prosperity and failure. The best metaphor I could find for him is like he is like the sun of the Milky Way galaxy. Everything is spinning around him.”

Pace adds with a laugh, “His ego is the size of the galaxy. Is it fun to play? Absolutely. Absolutely!”  

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