Netflix has ordered a drama series adaptation of The Three-Body Problem, from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The series will be based on the award-winning Chinese book series by Liu Cixin, with Alexander Woo (The Terror, True Blood) writing the TV adaptation, as well as executive producing alongside Lin Qi and Bernadette Caulfield. Netflix's deal with Three-Body Universe and Yoozoo Group will see the English-language adaptation cover all three books in Cixin's "Remembrance of Earth's Past" series: The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death's End. The books chronicle humanity's first encounter with an alien civilization, in a story that spans from "the 1960s to the far end of the universe and time itself."
Here's David Benioff and D.B. Weiss's full statement about taking on The Three-Body Problem series:
"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."
Alexander Woo added: "It’s a privilege to be adapting one of the great masterpieces of Chinese science-fiction. 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. I’m thrilled to kick off my partnership with Netflix with this accomplished creative team."
Netflix's VP of Original Series, Peter Friendlaner was unabashed in his excitement for the series:
"The first time I read The Three-Body Problem trilogy (Remembrance of Earth's Past), it changed what science fiction meant to me forever.
Although it may seem like a familiar premise - the story of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization - Chinese author 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.
Since my earliest days at Netflix working on series like Black Mirror and Sense8, I’ve sought out stories and POVs that are singular. This story felt singular, special - and eminently relatable. That’s why I'm pleased to announce that the Hugo Award-winning The Three-Body Problem and its two sequels are coming to Netflix as a series.
We have been granted the rights from The Three-Body Universe and Yoozoo Group to produce the English-language series adaptation and have assembled a talented and thoughtful creative team to do so. Every person involved not only shares a passion and high esteem for the books, but also the creative vision and ambition to help bring this remarkable story to life for audiences around the world."
Here's a quick summary of the plot:
"The series portrays an alternate history where, in the first book, the Earth is awaiting an invasion from the closest star system, which in this universe consists of three solar-type stars orbiting each other in an unstable three-body problem, with a single Earth-like planet unhappily being passed among them and suffering extremes of heat and cold, as well as the repeated destruction of its intelligent civilizations."
While it's clear Netflix is trying to craft something major with this production, the inclusion of Weiss and Benioff will be... problematic for some fans. The Game of Thrones creators stirred controversy with their planned HBO series Confederate, which imagined an alternate Earth, in which the Confederate states successfully succeeded from the Union, forming their own nation, in which slavery is still legal in modern-day. Needless to say, people had a problem with it, and HBO ultimately canceled it. The Three-Body Problem is very much set in Chinese culture with a majority of Chinese characters. Hopefully, no controversy over casting will be necessary.