TV & Movies

'The Three-Body Problem' Series Coming to Netflix From 'Game of Thrones' Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

When David Benioff and D.B. Weiss brought their award-winning run on Game of Thrones to a somewhat polarizing end, everyone wondered what they would do next. After an ill-fated project with HBO, the duo signed an overall deal with Netflix last year, and we hadn’t heard a peep from them since. But Benioff and Weiss have revealed their next trick: to solve The Three-Body Problem.

Netflix announced that Benioff and Weiss will be developing a series adaptation of the Hugo Award-winning science-fiction trilogy The Three-Body Problem from Chinese author Liu Cixin. Benioff and Weiss will be writing and executive producing The Three-Body Problem alongside Alexander Woo (The Terror: Infamy, True Blood) under their overall deal with Netflix. Netflix has been granted the rights to produce the English-language series adaptation of The Three-Body Problem by rights holders The Three-Body Universe and Yoozoo Group.

Benioff and Weiss said in a statement accompanying the announcement:

“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. We look forward to spending the next years of our lives bringing this to life for audiences around the world.”

Described as “the story of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization,” The Three-Body Problem has quite a starry group of executive producers behind it, including Knives Out director Rian Johnson, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, and Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike and Robie Uniacke for Primitive Streak. Also executive producing are Ram Bergman and Nena Rodrigue for T Street Productions, Lin Qi, Chairman of the rights-holders Yoozoo Group and The Three-Body Universe, and Zhao Jilong, Vice President of The Three-Body Universe. Cixin, who holds the prestige of being the first Asian author to win the Hugo Award for best Novel, is a consulting producer.

“I have the greatest respect for and faith in the creative team adapting The Three-Body Problem for television audiences,” Cixin said. “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.”

For those who don’t know, The Three-Body Problem is a sci-fi novel by Cixin that was published in 2008. It’s been hailed as a new sci-fi classic and is the first in a series of novels (followed by The Dark Forest and Death’s End) that has come to be known as The Remembrance of Earth’s Past Trilogy. Here’s the official synopsis for the first chapter of the trilogy:

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

Will Benioff and Weiss be able to tackle such an ambitious sci-fi project? Others have already tried and failed — Amazon was set to make a costly The Three-Body Problem series adaptation back in 2018 in what would have been one of the most expensive shows of all time. Benioff and Weiss have shown a talent for shepherding ambitious, big-budget shows, though they’ve lost some of the goodwill they accumulated during Game of Thrones‘ eight-season run thanks to an intensely divisive finale. I haven’t read The Three-Body Problem, though I have seen another spectacular adaptation of Cixin’s works, The Wandering Earth, and it would be interesting to see how Benioff and Weiss balance the author’s overtly nationalistic messages and science-heavy texts.

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