Netflix premiers The Three Body Problem sci-fi series at SXSW


Netflix’s highly-anticipated sci-fi epic, The Three Body Problem, premiered tonight at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

Based on the trilogy by Cixin Liu, the streaming show was brought to life by Game of Thrones creators Dan Benioff and Dan Weiss, and it follows a group of brilliant scientists making earth-shattering discoveries as they witness the laws of science unravel. The show debuts on Netflix on March 21.

The Three Body Problem chronicles Earth’s contact with an alien civilization that comes from a solar system of a very different sort. In physics, the three body problem refers to the motion of three-point mass particles under their gravitational effects. It’s like the gravitational pull of the sun, the Earth and the moon happening all at once.

The Three Body Problem is immensely hard to grasp, and yet it is rooted in science and physics in a way that most novels never bother to delve into the details. Back in 2020, Netflix announced that Game of Thrones streaming show writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would adapt the trilogy into a sci-fi TV drama — making it the rare non-English book adapted by the streaming service.

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Fan boy moment for Dean Takahashi with the creators of The Three Body Problem and Game of Thrones. At CES 2024 in January.

I met them at CES 2024 in Las Vegas in January, and I asked whether the unofficial fourth book, The Redemption of Time, written by fan Baoshu, would be part of the series. They said that the scope of their agreement only covered the books written by Cixin Liu.

The show stars Liam Cunningham, John Bradley, Jonathan Pryce, Benedict Wong, Tsai Chin, Eiza Gonzalez, Alex Sharp, Saamer Usmani, Jovan Adepo, Sea Shimooka, and Rosalind Chao.

Committed to forging partnerships with prominent global entities to cultivate unique experiences, Three Body Universe partnered with Netflix to bring the story to western audiences. The collaboration signaled a significant moment for the Chinese entertainment industry’s growth in North America and EMEA.

Cedric Zhao, CEO of Three Body Universe — the international creator and manager of intellectual property — noted the Netflix series is the first project since becoming owners of the intellectual property. Zhao offered us an exclusive quote.

“The Three Body IP has captivated a global audience, providing a fresh lens through which to view and understand Eastern approaches to solving world issue,” Zhao said. “We are extremely excited to see the story brought to life in new mediums, demonstrating its ongoing appeal. The insatiable global interest in ‘Three Body Problem’ demonstrates that the questions it raises about our reality are timeless and universal.”

Zhao added, “Science fiction resonates with people everywhere because it strikes at the heart of people’s greatest fears and hopes for the future. We understood that about the novel from the beginning, and that’s given us the confidence to believe that the story could accommodate various formats and a diversity of story-telling perspectives. We’ve been thrilled to see that come to fruition.”

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