Netflix announced on Tuesday that it plans to adapt Chinese sci-fi trilogy The Three-Body Problem as a new English-language series.
Creators of the Game of Thrones TV series David Benioff and D.B. Weiss along with Chinese-American writer and producer Alexander Woo, best known as The Terror and True Blood showrunner, have joined as writers and executive producers. Author Liu Cixin and sci-fi writer Ken Liu, who translated the first and third books of the trilogy into English, 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,” Liu Cixin said 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.”
The production team also includes Rian Johnson and his producing partner Ram Bergman, along with Brad Pitt and Rosamund Pike, Netflix said in a statement. The streaming platform acquired the rights to produce an English-language adaptation of the novels from The Three-Body Universe and Yoozoo Group.
“The first time I read The Three-Body Problem trilogy (Remembranceof Earth’s Past), it changed what science fiction meant to me forever,” said Peter Friedlander, vice president of original series drama at Netflix. “Liu Cixin’s ability to interweave science with fiction made his vision of the future and extra-terrestrial contact feel more realistic than any other science fiction I’ve read. At the same time, I was also drawn in by the story of all of humanity vulnerable to the same external threat and how this both unifies and divides humans.”
The TV series will cover all three books in the trilogy — The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest and Death’s End —which tells a story of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization.
Debuted in China in 2008, and introduced to the American audience six years later, the first novel The Three-Body Problem was the first Asian work to win the Hugo Award for best novel in 2015. The trilogy has sold at least 8 million copies worldwide and has been translated to more than 20 languages. Its success is believed to have helped sci-fi enter the Chinese cultural mainstream.
Barack Obama praised the series as “wildly imaginative.” Furthermore, George R.R. Martin said the novels contain “a unique blend of scientific and philosophical speculation, politics and history, conspiracy theory and cosmology, where kings and emperors from both western and Chinese history mingle in a dreamlike game world, while cops and physicists deal with global conspiracies, murders, and alien invasions in the real world.”
Another novel of Liu’s named The Wandering Earth was adapted as a film and released last year, which soon became a hit. The film is also available on Netflix.
Netflix has not yet announced a release date or any casting information regarding the new series.