Sequel to Chinese sci-fi blockbuster 'The Wandering Earth' to begin shooting this fall
Published: Jul 13, 2021 11:06 PM
The poster of the movie <em>The Wandering Earth</em> Photo: VCG

The poster of the movie The Wandering Earth Photo: VCG

The sequel to 2019 Chinese sci-fi movie The Wandering Earth, the fourth highest-grossing film in the Chinese mainland at $700 million, is set to start filming in October and be released in 2023, according to a post on Monday by Chinese ticketing platform Taopiaopiao on Sina Weibo. 

The first movie takes place in a far future where the Sun begins to die. To save themselves, humans join together to build enormous planet thrusters to propel the Earth out of the Sun's orbit to a new star system, a 2,500-year project. The film takes place over 36 hours, telling the story of people around the world working to prevent the Earth from crashing into Jupiter.

While actor Wu Jing's character Liu Peiqiang sacrificed himself in the first movie, Wu is still set to star in the sequel, making many netizens wonder how the scriptwriters and the director will deal with the dead character in the new movie.

Famous Hong Kong actor Andy Lau is also set to star in the new movie, but what role he will play remains unknown.

The information comes from a photo of the film's shooting application uploaded to social media by Taopiaopiao on Monday. 

According to the application, the sequel's scriptwriters include Guo Fan, who was also the director of the previous hit film. The news of his involvement was well received by fans of the film. 

The synopsis in the application reveals that the sequel is still based on the Earth's escape from a dying Sun. 

"Young people in the Wandering Earth Age throw themselves into the breach again and devote themselves to fighting for life," the synopsis said.

"Please take your time and produce the movie slowly and patiently. It can become another Chinese science fiction blockbuster. Don't let us down," one netizen commented on Sina Weibo.

Shi Wenxue, a film critic based in Beijing, noted that for the sequel to continue or surpass the first movie's success, the production team will need to innovate when it comes to the relations and emotional connections between characters, as well as continue improving on the first film's already impressive special effects.

"In terms of special effects, they must continue to improve. Audiences have higher standards for visual effects now. The second film should pay more attention to every detail when it comes to special effects," Shi told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Shi also pointed out that considering the development and international status of China's space program, the sequel should more focus on science and values, including human civilization, humanistic care and ecological destiny.

The success of The Wandering Earth increased people's confidence in the Chinese sci-fi industry. The emergence of several influential sci-fi works has been a boon for the box office. In 2019, Chinese sci-fi films earned more than 7.1 billion yuan ($1.09 billion) in the Chinese mainland, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Thanks in part to the popularity of the film genre, the value of the sci-fi literature market reached about 2.01 billion yuan, up 13 percent year on year.