If you thought the two adaptions of Liu Cixin’s award-winning novel The Three-Body Problem in development by Netflix and Tencent were enough, you’d be surprised to learn that the official trailer for an animated version of the science fiction book has been released on Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing platform.
Initially scheduled for release in 2021, the series adaptation is a collaboration between Bilibili, Three-Body Universe Co, and YHKT entertainment.
Fans have been waiting more than two years for its debut after its concept promotion video was first released in 2019. Unfortunately, the latest trailer still does not specify when the series will be available to watch.
The trailer, released on November 20, follows a conversation between two members of the alien civilization featured in the story — Trisolarans, as they’re known to fans of Liu’s work, who are discussing their plan to destroy humanity.
“Killing all human beings is our way of paying utmost respect to them,” the Trisolarans say (roughly translated).
Image via Weibo
On China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo, the hashtag ‘The new trailer for the animated The Three-Body Problem’ (#三体动画全新预告片#) had gained more than 61 million views at the time of writing, with netizens sharing their enthusiasm for the adaptation.
“I generally don’t look forward to TV or film adaptations, but I’m really looking forward to this animated version. Please release it soon,” an excited fan posted.
Under the official account of the animated adaptation, another netizen commented, “It is amazing that the trailer follows the perspective of the Trisolarans. I’m really excited about this adaptation!”
Screengrab via YouTube
Nonetheless, some netizens were not impressed with the film’s visual effects and voiceover techniques.
“I hoped the visual effect would be more realistic,” one commented. “The voiceover felt very forced, and I could hear mouth noises,” wrote another.
The adaptation’s creators, however, feel confident that audiences will enjoy their work.
“We are happy with how the animated adaptation turned out. It met our goals and expectations,” shared YHKT Entertainment Co-Founder Chen Wei.
The Three-Body Problem is arguably one of the most popular sci-fi novels in China. The first in a three-part series and one of the numerous books written by Liu, it tells a story of a near future in which humanity is threatened by an alien species that plans to invade earth.
It will be the third of Liu’s works to be adapted for screen, following the wildly popular 2019 releases of Crazy Alien and The Wandering Earth.
The novel’s popularity is certainly not limited to China: President Obama put the English-language translation of The Three-Body Problem on his 2017 reading list, calling the sci-fi novel “wildly imaginative” and “really interesting.” American fantasy author George R. R. Martin also endorsed the book.
Cover image: screengrab via Bilibili
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam
Thousands of earthlings have signed up for our newsletter, and you should do the same