Amazon is looking to turn ‘Three-Body Problem’ into blockbuster sci-fi television series

The company is reportedly likely to earmark $1 billion for project involving the ultra-popular Chinese science fiction trilogy

Chinese sci-fi fans are bubbling over with excitement today following a report that beloved science fiction trilogy “The Three-Body Problem” may be made into a high-budget television series by Amazon.

The Financial Times reported yesterday that the American video subscription service will likely earmark $1 billion in order to acquire the rights to the extremely popular trilogy of novels written by Liu Cixin and produce three seasons of episodes.

The resulting epic drama will prove to be more popular than “Game of Thrones,” the report quotes some (possibly overly optimistic) mainland industry insiders as predicting.

First serialized in a Chinese sci-fi magazine in 2006, “The Three-Body Problem” grew into a trilogy of boundless scope and imagination, winning over millions of fans in China and across the world. For the first volume, Liu Cixin became the first Chinese author to ever be awarded the Hugo Award for best novel.

The rights to the trilogy are currently owned by Lin Qi, the chairman of Youzu Interactive, a Chinese developer and publisher that typically focuses on online and mobile games.

Since 2015, Youzu has been trying to put together a movie based on the first novel. The film was scheduled to be released in 3D in 2017, but has instead been met with a number of setbacks — reportedly over its “bad quality.”

Back in 2016, Liu told the Guardian that he wasn’t getting his hopes up about the film:

This will be the first big-budget sci-fi film in China. Many people hold high expectations for it, hoping that it will become China’s 2001: Space Odyssey or Star Wars. 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.

So, it remains to be seen if a Chinese sci-fi television drama will be able to surpass the success enjoyed by the “Game of Thrones,” however, the series has at least already attained the recommendation of George R.R. Martin who said that he liked, but did not love, the first book.