Another Story by Chinese Sci-Fi Writer Liu Cixin to Hit Screens

China’s best-known contemporary science fiction writer continues to sell, even as earlier productions stall.

Chinese sci-fi novelist Liu Cixin is set to have another of his stories hit the big screen even as his more famous novel The Three Body Problem continues to languish in development limbo.

Local media outlet Sina Entertainment reports that filming on an adaptation of the Hugo and Nebula-winning novelist’s short story The Wandering Earth (流浪地球) will begin in March and is expected to hit screens either in summer 2018 or at the beginning of 2019.

In the short story, scientists build massive engines to propel the planet toward another star after they discover the sun is about to grow into a red giant.

Director Frant Gwo (郭帆), whose previous films include 2011’s Lee’s Adventures (李献计历险记), 2014’s My Old Classmate (同桌的你), and last year’s The Insanity (你好,疯子!), has already been confirmed.

Gwo told Sina Entertainment he’s already been working on the film for half a year and said the main roles had already been cast, but he declined to name names. The director hinted at the project in a new year’s day Weibo post featuring artwork for the film.

Liu’s other, more famous book, The Three Body Problem, was meant to hit screens in 2016 but has been hit by multiple delays and still has no definite release date. Liu, often referred to as China’s answer to Arthur C. Clarke, has sought to temper expectations about the film.

“Many people hold high expectations for it, hoping that it will become China’s 2001: Space Odyssey or Star Wars,” he told The Guardian in December.

“But personally I feel that such an expectation for the first attempt of the nation’s film industry might be unrealistic. I’d rather watch this process unfold with a calm attitude, treating it like a positive start for China’s sci-fi films.”