The creative duo that brought us the critically acclaimed Game of Thrones HBO series, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, seal a deal with Netflix to adapt Liu Cixin‘s The Three-Body Problem trilogy. The English adaptation of the first book in the series is the first Asian novel ever to win a Hugo Award.
Benioff and Weiss, still on the heels of their success with fantasy series Game of Thrones, take a dive into the world of science fiction in their reportedly over $1 billion venture project with Netflix, The Three-Body Problem. The two are joined by big names like Alexander Woo (True Blood), Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Bernadette Caulfield (Game of Thrones), Rosamund Pike (Pride and Prejudice) and superstar Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment. Original author Liu Cixin and the book’s translator Ken Liu, creator of the “silk punk” genre of literature, will also be serving as executive producers.
The trilogy takes its name from the three-body problem of astrodynamics, which has to do with the unpredictable nature of how three celestial bodies, such as stars, planets or moons, interact with one another when taking into account the interplay of magnetic and gravitational forces.
In the novel itself, an alien civilization of a nearby solar system lives on an earthlike planet that orbits a total of three stars, subjecting them to oppressive weather conditions. These conditions force them to invade the Earth in order to escape their harsh climate, putting them at odds with different factions of earthlings that either wanting to welcome said aliens or fight them off. The story truly begins on Earth during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, which, even though the author is an ardent supporter of the current Xi Jinping administration, caused the first chapters of the book to be censored in mainland China due to the criticisms made within. Despite these initial troubles, the series received such acclaim in China that Ken Liu took it upon himself to introduce it to a Western audience by translating all three novels into English. The books then received further accolades and were even lauded by the likes of George R. R. Martin, Mark Zuckerberg and former U.S. PresidentBarack Obama. The New Yorker even went so far as to compare the works to that of Arthur C. Clarke.
Of the adaptation, Cixin told Variety, “I have the greatest respect for and faith in the creative team adapting The Three-Body Problem for television audiences. 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.”
The streaming series has an expected release date of late 2022 or 2023.