Interstellar co-writer Jonathan Nolan to adapt Isaac Asimov’s Foundation for television

The screenwriter and producer, who is the brother of director Christopher Nolan, will make the series with HBO

Oscar-nominated British screenwriter Jonathan “Jonah” Nolan (Interstellar, the Dark Knight) is set to adapt Isaac Asimov’s classic sci-fi book series Foundation for television.


Nolan will team up with Warner Bros TV and HBO to produce the series, the Verge reports, with whom he is already working on a TV adaptation of 1973 film Westworld (starring Anthony Hopkins and James Marsden).

Nolan is best known for his work with brother Christopher Nolan, and has co-written several films with the director including The Prestige, the Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar.

He’s also creator and executive producer for the US series Person of Interest, starring Jim Caviezel.

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation tells the story of a mathematician called Hari Seldon, who can predict the far future using a branch of mathematics called “psychohistory”. Seeing an imminent dark age approaching the Milky Way, Seldon attempts to preserve humanity’s knowledge at the extreme end of the galaxy.

Asimov – who passed away in 1992 – is considered one of the pioneers for “hard” science fiction novels, with some of his work adapted for film including 1999’s Bicentennial man (starring Robin Williams) and 2004’s I, Robot (starring Will Smith). 

Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, Nolan mentioned Foundation and Asimov in a recent interview with IndieWire when asked about underrated science fiction. 

“Well, I f****ing love the “Foundation” novels by Isaac Asimov,” he said. “They’re certainly not well-known, 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 f****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 f****ing hair on fire.”


Interstellar is in cinemas now – read our review here