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WIRE Buzz: Jared Harris and Lee Pace star in Foundation; Marvel announces new podcast series

By Matthew Jackson
Absalom Breakspear Carnival Row Jared Harris

David S. Goyer's upcoming Apple TV+ adaptation of Isaac Asimov's seminal science fiction novel Foundation has just found its stars. TV Line reports that Jared Harris (The TerrorChernobyl) and Lee Pace (Pushing DaisiesGuardians of the Galaxy) have joined the upcoming 10-episode streaming series.

Harris will play Hari Seldon, a brilliant mathematician working at the forefront of a new field dubbed "psychohistory," who predicts the demise of the millennia-old Galactic Empire. Pace will star opposite him as Brother Day, the Emperor of said Galactic Empire. Originally published as a series of short stories in the 1940s, Foundation was published as a novel in 1951 and remains a masterpiece of science fiction. Asimov wrote two sequels in short order, Foundation and Empire in 1952 and Second Foundation in 1953, establishing The Foundation Trilogy. Asimov returned to the world of Foundation in the 1980s and added more prequels and sequels to the continuity, ultimately creating a seven-book series.

Goyer's adaptation of Foundation was first announced back in 2017, though no streaming service or network was attached back then. Apple TV+ has since emerged as a major upcoming competitor in the streaming wars, snapping up valuable properties wherever it can, and Foundation will be among them. Goyer will serve as showrunner and executive producer on the series. Josh Friedman, who was previously announced as co-showrunner, backed away from the production earlier this year but will still have an executive producer credit.

Foundation does not yet have a release date.

After finding success with a scripted Wolverine podcast last year, Marvel Entertainment is expanding its audio storytelling in a big way in 2020. The company just announced a new partnership with SiriusXM and Pandora to create "a substantial amount of exclusive podcasts," including both scripted and unscripted offerings.

Among the new scripted stories arriving as part of the podcast deal are four new 10-episode series, each focusing on a different Marvel Comics favorite. Wolverine, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Star-Lord will each get their own podcast under the new deal, and this quartet will be followed by a fifth podcast that will team all four characters. According to the announcement, the unscripted offerings will include podcasts that "look at Marvel’s rich history through a modern-day lens of pop culture; podcasts dedicated to popular Marvel franchises; and regular talk shows, including an interview show that will feature famous celebrity guests."

“Powerful stories are read, seen, and heard — and we believe audio is the next natural step to bring the Marvel Universe to fans around the world,” Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment, said. “Storytelling has always been at the heart of Marvel’s success, and SiriusXM and Pandora have the right platform and expertise to bring Marvel’s rich tapestry of stories to listeners in a whole new way.”

The podcasts do not yet have a specific release date, but when they're released they will be available to both SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora users, including those who use the free ad-supported Pandora app. 

Simon Barrett, the horror filmmaker best known as the screenwriter of hits like The GuestYou're Next, and Blair Witch, has lined up his next scary movie, and this time he'll be climbing into the director's chair. Variety reports that Dark Castle Entertainment, HanWay Films, and Ingenious Media have teamed up to finance Seance, a new horror film directed and written by Barrett and executive-produced by You're Next director Adam Wingard.

Seance takes place at Fairfield Academy, a prestigious girls' school haunted by a legendary ghost. Suki Waterhouse (The Bad Batch) will star as Camille, a new student at the school who is invited to a seance by the other girls and believes it might be some kind of prank. As the girls who attended the seance begin dying, Camille is drawn into a mystery tied to Kerrie, a student who died after a previous seance at the school.

Seance is expected to start production in Canada in November. Dark Castle and HanWay plan to sell distribution rights to the film at the American Film Market next month.