The 'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Are Adapting the Most Beloved Alien Invasion Series of the 21st Century

Matt Miller
·3 mins read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Esquire

In the late 1960s, a young Chinese scientist named Ye Wenjie makes contact with an alien species whose planet is on the brink of destruction. When this desperate civilization learns of the ample resources of Earth, it launches an invasion fleet that will reach our planet in 450 years to dominate humanity. That is the premise to Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem, the first novel in his sci-fi trilogy Remembrance of Earth's Past, a series that has been credited with transforming the genre into respected high brow literature in China. The series won the highest awards for science fiction both in China and internationally, and has even been praised by Barack Obama and George R.R. Martin. Now, Liu's beloved series will be adapted into a Netflix series by David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who brought Game of Thrones to HBO. They're teaming up with Alexander Woo (True Blood) to adapt the series, first published in China in 2008 and has since gone on to sell millions of copies worldwide.

"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.”

The series—for its hard sci-fi elements and realistic depictions of near-future technology—is beloved by aerospace engineers and cosmologists. The title itself is a reference to a real, unsolvable physics problem—brought to life in the series by a planet's orbital trajectory around three stars.

“It’s a privilege to be adapting one of the great masterpieces of Chinese science-fiction," Woo said in a statement. "The Three-Body Problem trilogy combines so many things I love: rich, multi-layered characters and true existential stakes — all told as an elegant and deeply human allegory.”

Liu Cixin and translator Ken Liu will serve as consulting producers on the project. In a statement, the author seemed to address possible criticism for having American showrunners adapt the English translation of the Chinese book.

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

According to Entertainment Weekly, the budget for this project is reportedly expected to be astronomical. At one point, Amazon was making a bid to adapt the novels with a reported $1 billion price tag—though it's unlikely this projection will be anywhere near that.

You Might Also Like