Science and storytelling have a long and tumultuous relationship. Scientists sometimes want stories to be just an advertisement for how awesome science is; storytellers sometimes want to use science for a few cheap thrills before abandoning it in the morning. But science is about ideas, and ideas can make for thrilling stories when done well. David Goyer is an accomplished screenwriter and director who has taken up a daunting task: adapting Isaac Asimov’s famous Foundation series for TV. (Available on Apple TV now.) We talk about the challenge of making a television version of a beloved series whose central character is a mathematician, and how science and storytelling relate to each other more generally.
David Goyer graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He has written stories or screenplays for a number of well-known films, including Dark City, Blade, the Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman, as well as TV series such as FlashForward and Constantine. He has also directed and produced numerous films and shows. He has written novels, comic books, and video games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops. In addition to Foundation, he is currently working on a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. Episodes of Foundation are released every Friday; the finale of the first season will be available Nov. 19.