New Sci-Fi Series Has Fans Asking, Can ‘Three-Body’ Be Filmed?

Liu Cixin’s best known work is getting a television adaptation. So why aren’t more fans celebrating?

A Chinese film company plans to turn Liu Cixin’s Hugo Award-winning “The Three-Body Problem” into a 24-episode television series, according to a filming permission slip published by China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television Tuesday. But many fans of the novel are far from thrilled, with some questioning whether it’s possible to do the story justice on a television budget, while others express cautious optimism.

“The Three-Body Problem,” which took home the best novel prize at the 2015 Hugo Awards, is the first book in Liu’s trilogy about the relationship between humans and an advanced alien civilization. According to the permission form, Yoozoo Pictures is slated to begin filming the series in September, with production expected to take 12 months. It is not known whether the adaption will include elements of the entire trilogy, or just the first book.

When Sixth Tone contacted Yoozoo Pictures Wednesday, a representative of the company, surnamed Wang, said it had no further comment and does not intend to disclose any additional details while the TV series is still in the pre-production stage.

This is not the first time Yoozoo has tried adapting Liu’s best known trilogy. In 2014, the company announced plans to adapt the books into a six-part motion picture series, with the first set to premiere in July 2016. But no films were ever released, and the company only provided vague explanations about a need for more time for “post-production.” Last March, rumors briefly surfaced online that Amazon was in talks to purchase the rights to the trilogy, but Yoozoo later dismissed the story in an official statement.

Hopes for a cinematic adaptation of the story were revived earlier this year, however, after “The Wandering Earth” — also based on one of Liu’s stories — won over audiences with its high-quality visual effects and earned 4.6 billion yuan ($667 million) domestically.

Yet even after the success of “The Wandering Earth,” Liu continued to doubt whether “The Three-Body Problem” could ever be successfully filmed. Continue to read the full story here.


–This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone