International best-seller 'The Three-Body Problem' to be adapted as a Netflix original series

Peter Friedlander

Vice President, Original Series Drama

Peter Friedlander

Vice President, Original Series Drama

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. 

 

 

The Creative Team 

That team starts with writers and executive producers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones), and Alexander Woo (The Terror: Infamy, True Blood), who have experience tackling ambitious sagas over time and space, as well as executive producers Rian Johnson and producing partner Ram Bergman (Looper, Knives Out, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi), who have long dazzled fans with thrilling and mind-bending epics. As soon as we started discussing this project, I would receive frequent emails from them and we would discuss the books compulsively whenever we were in touch. They are all fierce advocates for the source material. 

As ardent fans of the books, it was especially meaningful to us to get the support of Liu Cixin who created this expansive universe. Cixin has gone one step further and has joined as a consulting producer alongside Ken Liu, who wrote the English translation for The Three-Body Problem and Death's End. Having Cixin and Ken involved will help ensure that the spirit of the books remains intact. 

Rounding out the creative team is a deep bench of venerable and passionate executive producers: 

  • Bernadette Caulfield (Game of Thrones, The X-Files), newly-installed President of Benioff & Weiss’ production company.

  • Nena Rodrigue, President of Television for Johnson and Bergman's production company, T-Street. 

  • Lin Qi, Chairman of the rights-holders - Yoozoo Group and The Three-Body Universe, and Zhao Jilong, Vice President of The Three-Body Universe, who are deeply committed to meaningfully building out the Three-Body franchise.

  • Plan B Entertainment (Brad Pitt, Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner’s company) known for bringing to screen critically acclaimed and global projects with great reverence including Okja for Netflix and the Academy Award–winning Moonlight.

  • Rosamund Pike and Robie Uniacke whose company Primitive Streak specializes in prestige international literary property.

To quote The Three-Body Problem, “In my line of work, it’s all about putting together many apparently unconnected things. When you piece them together the right way, you get the truth.”

We all share the same goal: to pay homage to this incredible story and take members on the adventure of a lifetime.

-Peter Friedlander, Vice President, Original Series Drama

The Creative Team Weighs In:

Author & consulting producer Liu Cixin: "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.” 

Writers and executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss: "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.”

Writer and executive producer Alexander Woo: “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.”

Executive producer Lin Qi: “The Three-Body Universe and Yoozoo Group strive to collaborate with The Three-Body Problem-loving creatives and artists across the globe to create diverse forms of art. ‘To extol civilizations with technology’ is a mission Yoozoo commits itself to, and the saga from Da Liu [Liu Cixin] is exactly a part of that beautiful civilization. We are thrilled to embark on this new adventure with Netflix, a creative powerhouse and a truly global entertainment service that consistently fuels us with outstanding film and television works.”

Executive producer Bernadette Caulfield: “After working closely with David and D.B. for many years, I’m excited to join their company and embark on this next journey with them and the fantastic team at Netflix. We share the same vision and passion for bringing to life dynamic  and grand stories; The Three-Body Problem is uniquely special and similarly ambitious."