Netflix just announced its plans to turn Cixin Liu’s “Three-Body Problem” trilogy into an original, English-language science fiction series.
The show will be executive produced and written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (the “Game of Thrones” showrunners signed a multi-year deal with Netflix last year that is reportedly worth more than $200 million), along with Alexander Woo, who previously served as showrunner for “The Terror: Infamy.”
“The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson and his producing partner Ram Bergman are on board as executive producers (Benioff and Weiss spent some time working on a since-abandoned Star Wars trilogy), while Liu and his American translator Ken Liu (no relation) will serve as consulting producers.
“I have the greatest respect for and faith in the creative team adapting The Three-Body Problem for television audiences,” said Cixin Liu in a statement. “I set out to tell a story that transcends time and the confines of nations, cultures and races; one that compels us to consider the fate of humankind as a whole. It is a great honor as an author to see this unique sci-fi concept travel and gain fandom across the globe and I am excited for new and existing fans all over the world to discover the story on Netflix.”
First serialized in China in 2006, “The Three-Body Problem” and its sequels “The Dark Forest” and “Death’s End” (the whole series is also known as “Remembrance of Earth’s Past”) tell the story of humanity’s encounter with a mysterious alien race known as the Trisolarans. After its American publication in 2014, “The Three-Body Problem” was the first Asian novel to win science fiction’s Hugo Award and it attracted high-profile fans, including President Barack Obama. The series has sold at least 8 million copies worldwide.
The trilogy is distinguished by its wildly inventive plotting, its detailed scientific extrapolation and its broad perspective, ultimately covering a vast swath of human history. I’d also argue that “The Dark Forest” includes the most spectacular space battle ever committed to print.
“Liu Cixin’s trilogy is the most ambitious science-fiction series we’ve read, taking readers on a journey from the 1960s until the end of time, from life on our pale blue dot to the distant fringes of the universe,” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement. “We look forward to spending the next years of our lives bringing this to life for audiences around the world.”
Meanwhile, a cinematic adaptation of Liu’s novel “The Wandering Earth” was released last year and became one of China’s highest-grossing films of all time.