The Three- Body Problem TV series adaptation causes concerns among Chinese sci-fi fans

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/20 18:13:04

The promotion material of The Three-Body Problem stage play Photo: IC

News that Chinese Hugu Award-winning writer Liu Cixin's novel The Three-Body Problem is going to be adapted into TV series has climbed to the top of the trending list on Sina Weibo, but the news has also some Chinese sci-fans feeling nervous.

According to documents about a The Three-Body Problem TV series on the official website of the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) of China, the show will start shooting in September.

Liu's The Three-Body Problem has not only gained fame in China, but also around the world, but it wasn't always this way.

After it was first published in 2008, The Three-Body Problem, the first in a trio of novels about an alien invasion, was only discussed by a small group of sci-fi fans. In fact, its publication didn't even draw attention from literature critics.

However, as the years passed the novel began gaining increasing fame.

The most important turning point happened in 2015, when the English translation of the book won a Hugo Award, which is often called "the Nobel Prize for sci-fi." This was a major milestone for China as it showed a Chinese sci-fi writer could be recognized by international readers.

The next major leap for Liu came in earlier this year, when the film adaptation of his short story The Wandering Earth became the second-highest earning film in Chinese movie history.

The success of The Wandering Earth film has increased the confidence of Chinese sci-fi fans. However, many readers of The Three-Body Problems are still worried about the upcoming TV series.

While the success of the film was in part due to top-of-the-line special effects, fans are worried that TV won't have that kind of budget to do The Three-body Problem justice.

There are also a group of fans that don't want either a TV or a film adaptation since they feel that any adaptation of the book would not be able to remain true to the original.

Some fans point to the TV adaptation of Chinese writer Xu Lei's web novel The Grave Robbers' Chronicles as an example, noting that the background of the main character was changed from a grave robber to the son of an archeologist who now tries to protect ancient tombs.

According to the documents on the NRTA website, media company Yoozoo is behind the production, which will take 12 months.

In 2015, Yoozoo announced that it had finished shooting a film version of The Three-Body Problem that they expected to put into theaters in 2016. However, the film was postponed in an announcement made later that year.

While the studio hasn't made any official statement, it is possible that the original movie project has been shifted to TV.

Posted in: BOOKS,FILM,TV

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