– No release date announced yet
– Filming underway on next installment
– Showrunner David S. Goyer helming season 2
– Main cast all set to return
– New cast members announced in February 2022
– Season 2 likely to focus on plot in Isaac Asimov’s first and second novels
– Sneak peek will be shown off at Comic-Con 2022
Foundation season 2 is on the way – we just don’t know much about it. The sci-fi series’ next installment is still in development but, without an update from Apple or any of its cast and crew, we’re unsure how far along the development pipeline it actually is.
Still, at least Foundation – one of the best Apple TV Plus shows – is getting a second season. Apple only tends to renew a series for more if it’s a significant hit, so Foundation’s creative team should take heart from that. Here’s hoping it winds up on Apple TV Plus sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, what do we know about Foundation season 2? Below, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the epic series’ second bunch of episodes. That includes its possible release date, returning and new cast members, possible plot details, the show’s future, and more.
Major spoilers follow for Foundation season 1. Additionally, potential spoilers for Foundation next season and Isaac Asimov’s novel series, which the show is based on, might appear in our cast and plot sections. Use the left-hand navigation bar to skip ahead if you’re avoiding spoilers.
Foundation season 2 release date
Foundation season 2 doesn’t have an official release date, but filming is well underway.
Apple unveiled a first look image for Foundation season 2 in February 2022. It didn’t give much away, but we know that Lee Pace’s Brother Day is set to verbally clash with Jared Harris’ Hari Seldon. Well, the AI construct of Seldon’s consciousness, anyway, what with Seldon dying in the show’s second episode.
Foundation star Leah Harvey also provided a brief update on where Foundation season 2 was being filmed, taking to Instagram in mid-March to reveal that principal photography was taking place in the Canary Islands. So expect more sand, desert, and oceanside-based locations in the show’s next entry.
In April, The Prague Reporter (opens in new tab) confirmed that filming took place in the Czech Republic, with leaked images (thanks to Reddit (opens in new tab) for the find) showing Prague’s Faculty of Law building potentially being used for a new throne room. Moviesr.net (opens in new tab) has since revealed that principal photography has ended in Prague – The Prague Reporter previously stated that filming would end in June – so some footage is in the can at least.
With Foundation season 2 still in development, we wouldn’t expect it to arrive on our screens until mid to late 2023, and that’s being optimistic. This season shouldn’t take as long as the first to film – season 1 was disrupted by the pandemic – but there’s still plenty of work to carry out, including what’s likely to be a very long post-production phase. So don’t expect Foundation season 2 to launch for a while yet.
Foundation season 2 plot
Full spoilers follow for Foundation season 1.
While fans of Isaac Asimov’s novel series may think they know where season 2’s story will go, the source material can’t be relied upon to reveal any major story beats. Why? Because, although the creators used the books as a basis for Foundation’s TV adaptation, the show had largely diverged from the books by its season 1 finale.
Still, there are plenty of unresolved plot threads and storylines that need to be resolved. And, based on comments made by the cast and crew, we have a few pointers about the direction they might go in.
Showrunner David S Goyer explained that answers to some of season 1’s open-ended plot points will be resolved in future seasons, telling Collider (opens in new tab): “If there’s a question that we haven’t answered, there’s a reason why we haven’t answered it. It’s not because we forgot about it. It’s ‘watch this space’.”
Goyer was, though, happy to tease how certain season 1 events may impact its successor.
One of the biggest moments in the season 1 finale was the revelation that Brothers Dawn, Day and Dusk – portrayed by Cassian Bilton, Lee Pace and Terrence Mann – are not identical clones of Cleon I. After Eto Demerzel (Laura Birn) killed Dawn’s current incarnation due to genetic differences that supposedly made him an impure clone, it’s revealed that all of Cleon’s clones are genetically unique. An anti-Empire resistance group, that included Dawn’s ex-lover Azura, had tampered with the DNA of Cleon I’s host body decades earlier, ensuring that none of the Empire’s current rulers are identical clones of Cleon I.
Speaking to Newsweek (opens in new tab) post-finale, Goyer teased what this shock reveal may mean for this triumvirate in season 2.
“Part of the fun of the show moving forward [is] we’ll be seeing how different the various Cleons are,” Goyer said. “It’s part of the jazz that we’re playing with Terrence, Cassian and Lee because, even though they’re the same actors, some of the characters are going to be very different. One of the things that’s exciting about this monkey wrench, that’s thrown into the Genetic Empire, is what does that do when you introduce chaos into that system?”
The Emperor’s aura forcefield can only stop physical pain, not emotional pain. pic.twitter.com/3Pu1lwxcF6November 20, 2021
For Pace, the Great Spiral pilgrimage that Day undertook in episode 8 foreshadowed the season 1 finale’s big Empire reveal. Speaking to The Wrap (opens in new tab), Pace said: “He looks at his brothers and especially his younger brother [Dawn], who is now shown to be different in all of these ways, and is basically screaming ‘Me too.’ I feel the same way you feel. I know we are living under this fantasy that we are all the same man, and I know better now. I can’t un-see what I’ve seen. I can’t forget. I can’t believe that I am Cleon. I have to now believe that I am this person after what I’ve experienced. I think it forever changes the culture inside the dynasty.”
The other major plot point from episode 10 confirmed a series-long fan theory: that Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey) is the daughter of Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell). The episode’s final scene is reserved for their overdue meeting – albeit 138 years into the future. As viewers will remember, Gaal froze her embryo in episode 2. That fertilized egg would go on to become Salvor, who lives on Terminus over a century later. The only reason Gaal and Salvor eventually meet is because of the show’s time travel elements, as well as Gaal entering cryostasis for decades at a time.
Read our Foundation season 1 episodic recaps
While Goyer was coy about whether the duo’s relationship will potentially grow in season 2, the series’ showrunner did provide some context for how Gaal may react to Salvor’s declaration. And, given their respective time travel adventures, how Gaal is strangely younger than her daughter when they’re reunited.
“The story of Gaal and Salvor… I would say the closest analogy would be if someone gave up a child at birth and didn’t even know what happened to them,” Goyer told Newsweek. “And then one day that adult child knocks on their door and says, ‘Hey, mom’. What’s a little different is that, at least biologically, Salvor’s a few years older than Gaal, which is one of the fun things that you can only do in science fiction. I think Salvor’s about 26 or 27 years old, and Gaal is only about 23 years old, 22 years old.”
Hardin additionally told TVLine (opens in new tab): “These two characters are complete strangers and we’ll get to dive into how they navigate this new relationship, as well as the world around them bringing new challenges [in season 2]. They both have traveled years into the future, and for all they know, everything they knew has been left behind. They, potentially, only have each other left. It’s a profound emotion to contemplate, but it is something that requires time to process. Whether or not they have the luxury of time is another question entirely.”
And what of the Second Foundation, which fans of Asimov’s book series already know about? As Hari Seldon previously teased, he set up two Foundations at opposite ends of the galaxy – one which the Empire knows about and one that it doesn’t. So will season 2 deliver on showing viewers where the secret society is and what its purpose is?
“It’s definitely something we’re going to explore,” Goyer told Newsweek. “I didn’t bring it up just to not mention it again. One of the other things about the Second Foundation in the books is that the Second Foundation also largely develops off-screen, at least in the original trilogy. It appears almost as a deus ex machina. And I thought, for viewers of the show, that wouldn’t be playing fair, that we had to see the Second Foundation develop.”
Expect the Second Foundation to play as prominent a role in the new season as the First Foundation did in season 1, then. Not only that, but a Second Seldon Crisis is likely to form a large part of the series’ second season, too. The alliance that eventually formed between Terminus, Thespis and Anacreon in season 1 allowed the trio of outer-rim planets to navigate the First Crisis. But, as Hari’s AI construct told all three races in episode 10, more challenges will be on the way. So it’ll be interesting to see how those Seldon Crises are adapted from the novels for TV purposes.
Foundation season 2 cast
Here’s who’s returning for Foundation season 2:
- Jared Harris as Hari Seldon
- Lee Pace as Brother Day
- Lou Llobell as Gaal Dornick
- Leah Harvey as Salvor Hardin
- Laura Birn as Eto Demerzel
- Terrence Mann as Brother Dusk
- Cassian Bilton as Brother Dawn
Season 2 will introduce new characters, too. As part of Foundation season 2’s announcement, Goyer confirmed (via a press release) that more live-action incarnations of classic characters from Asimov’s novels will appear in the show’s next instalment.
“With season two, our audience will get to visit more of Asimov’s indelible characters and worlds, including Hober Mallow, General Bel Riose, and all the Outer Suns,” Goyer explained. “We’re playing the long game with Foundation and I’m grateful to my partners at Apple and Skydance for entrusting me with this epic. Buckle up. We’re about to fold some serious space.”
And now we know who some of those characters will be. In a separate press release, Apple confirmed the identities of 10 new individuals, as well as the actors who will portray them:
- Isabella Laughland (Harry Potter) as Brother Constant, a cheerfully confident claric whose job is to evangelize the Church of the Galactic Spirit across the Outer Reach
- Kulvinder Ghir (Goodness Gracious Me) as Poly Verisof, High Claric of the Church of the Galactic Spirit. Whip-smart and sardonic, he’s also a terrible drunk – intelligent enough to see the path he’s on, but too cynical to change
- Sandra Yi Sencindiver (The Wheel of Time) as Enjoiner Rue, the beautiful, politically savvy consigliere to Queen Sareth. A former courtesan to Cleon the 16th, Rue parlayed her status to become a royal counsellor
- Ella-Rae Smith (Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw) as Queen Sareth of Cloud Dominion. Used to being underestimated, Sareth employs it to her advantage, charming her way into the Imperial Palace with biting wit, all while on a secret quest for revenge
- Dimitri Leonidas (Centurion) as Hober Mallow, a master trader with a sarcastic personality and questionable morals, who is summoned against his will to serve a higher, selfless cause
- Ben Daniels (Jupiter’s Legacy) as Bel Riose, the last great general of the Superliminal Fleet and would-be conqueror of the Foundation. Bel is noble to a fault, but his fealty to the Galactic Empire is waning
- Holt McCallany (Mindhunter) as Warden Jaegger Fount, the current Warden of Terminus and guardian of its citizens against external threats
- Mikael Persbrandt (Sex Education) as The Warlord of Kalgan, a monster of a man, coiled with muscle and possessing powerful psychic abilities, and fueled by hate in his quest to take over the galaxy
- Rachel House (Cowboy Bebop) as Tellem Bond, mysterious leader of the Mentallics
- Nimrat Kaur (Homeland) as Yanna Seldon
Interestingly, Poly Verisof, The Warlord of Kalgan, Bel Riose, and Hober Mallow are the only four of those 10 characters who appear in the books. So the other six, Yanna Seldon included, are entirely new creations for the TV series.
Foundation season 2 trailer
No trailer has been released publicly, and it’ll be a while before one does.
Per Deadline (opens in new tab), a teaser clip and promotional trailer were exclusively shown off during an Apple TV Plus creators’ panel at Comic Con 2022. Unfortunately, that footage hasn’t been released online, so it’ll be a while before non-attendees get a glimpse of Foundation season 2. We’ll update this section once a trailer is released.
Foundation season 2: will there be more seasons?
Apple has only renewed Foundation for another 10-episode run, but we’d be shocked if more seasons aren’t forthcoming. Speaking to Lovin Malta (opens in new tab) in January 2021, Goyer revealed his ambitions to tell Foundation’s vast and epic tale – which spans one thousand years of fictional human history – across 80 episodes.
“Game of Thrones was really the first of these big, giant novelistic shows,” Goyer said. “And now, with Foundation, we can tell the story, hopefully, over the course of 80 episodes, or 80 hours, as opposed to trying to condense it all into two or three hours for a single film.”
Goyer also confirmed (via Collider (opens in new tab)) that he initially pitched an 80-episode story to Apple before they greenlit the show’s first run of episodes. And, if Foundation does run for eight seasons as Goyer hopes, he already has the show’s ending in mind, saying: “I do have an endpoint in mind, at least for now, I do know where all the major characters land and what happens at the end of it. Hopefully, we’ll get there.”
If each season comprises 10 entries, Foundation might run for eight seasons. However, Apple’s continual renewal of Foundation will depend on whether audiences continue to tune in. Apple is notoriously guarded about releasing viewing figures for its in-house movies and TV shows – so much so that no data for season 1’s episodes is publicly available.
For now, Foundation will get a second season, but its future is unknown past that point. Its first season found its feet with each episode and, providing Foundation season 2 can improve on the series’ first outing, it should be renewed by Apple during (or after) season 2’s release. Should it fail to attract viewers, however, Foundation may not survive past its second season.
For more Apple TV Plus content, read our guide on all things Ted Lasso season 3. Alternatively, check out our Apple TV Plus review.