Netflix debuts “The Three-Body Problem” at SXSW

The long-awaited first episode of Netflix’s blockbuster sci-fi series “The Three-Body Problem” debuted today to rave reviews at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival (SXSW), receiving a IMDb score of 9.

Helming the ambitious series are “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Chinese-American producer Alexander Woo, whose confident story-telling have brought to life the beloved Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel “The Three-Body Problem” by Chinese author Liu Cixin. Propelled by impressive visual effects, the exciting new series presents an epic imagining of a world in which humans endure life-and-death struggles to prepare for an extraterrestrial invasion.

During the premiere, never-before-seen moments from the show were 3D-projected 50 feet high over the city skyline, providing audiences with a dazzling visual feast. Echoing the experience of characters in the series, viewers watched as the mysterious Sophon, an avatar that appears in the show, spoke from the sky.

The enduring allure of “The Three-Body Problem” underscores the fundamental questions about existence and inquiries into the human condition. The successful premiere of the Netflix version of “The Three-Body Problem” at SXSW further confirms the immense appeal of the “Three-Body Problem” story and its associated IP not only among sci-fans but wider audiences, and the vast untapped potential that remains. The entire eight-episode season of Netflix’s “The Three-Body Problem” series will officially premiere on the platform on March 21. 

“The Three-Body IP has captivated a global audience, providing a fresh lens through which to view and understand Eastern approaches to solving world issues,” said Cedric Jilong Zhao, CEO of Three-Body Universe. “We are extremely excited to see the story brought to life in new mediums, demonstrating its ongoing appeal.”

“The insatiable global interest in ‘The Three Body Problem’ demonstrates that the questions it raises about our reality are timeless and universal. Science fiction resonates with people everywhere because it strikes at the heart of people’s greatest fears and hopes for the future. We understood that about the novel from the beginning, and that’s given us the confidence to believe that the story could accommodate various formats and a diversity of story-telling perspectives. We’ve been thrilled to see that come to fruition.” 

In 2018, the English version of the “Three-Body” trilogy was published in the United States and topped the New York Times bestseller list, marking the first time a Chinese novel has achieved this. Meanwhile, projects such as television productions and animations related to the Three-Body IP were launched in China to widespread acclaim.

I extend my sincere thanks to the staff involved in all Three-Body Problem media productions for their dedication and hard work, Zhao explained. “Through the perspectives of our local project development and enriched by our overseas engagements, we’ve recognized the significant disparities in product configuration, entrepreneurial models, and creative expressions between domestic and international markets. This awareness has inspired our dedication to conceive a ‘Three-Body’ rendition that is apt for global consumption.” 

Three-Body Universe, as a leading international creator and manager of intellectual properties, holds the exclusive rights to the “The Three-Body Problem” trilogy. The company is focused on establishing collaborations with leading international players to create distinctive experiences. This is not the first instance of the Three-Body film and television franchise achieving international acclaim. The recent launch of the “Three-Body” TV series’ Chinese adaptation of Peacock marks another venture by Three-Body Universe into the global market.

Three Body Problem Poster

Netflix previously released three trailers for the new series, each of which has garnered over ten million views on YouTube. As the streaming platform with the largest number of global users, Netflix not only focuses on developing American content, but also has invested considerable resources into understanding Asian cultures and adapting IPs. 

Since its publication in 2006, Liu Cixin’s “The Three Body Problem” has captured the imagination of millions first in China, and then around the world. As the first Chinese literary work to receive a Hugo Award, the world’s most prestigious science fiction prize, the novel has been translated into 35 languages globally. Additionally, it has been adapted into television series, animations, radio dramas, plays, and offline immersive experiences, enjoyed by a fan base of over 260 million worldwide.

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