Netflix’s new sci-fi epic from the creators of Game of Thrones will feature a key difference from its original novel

3 Body Problem
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix’s next sci-fi epic 3 Body Problem marks the return of Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss to genre television. The new eight-part drama sees the duo team up with executive producer Alexander Woo to tackle an ambitious adaptation of Liu Cixin’s Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel 'The Three-Body Problem'. 

However, the show’s director Derek Tsang (who helms the first two episodes) tells SFX magazine in the new issue, which features Dune 2 on the cover, that there will be some big changes to the book. The writers have essentially broken the first book into eight episodes, taking what he says isn’t "an easy read" and opening it up to create an ensemble piece that is more accessible. 

"The book is an epic story of people going through an existential threat," he explains. "But the human connections aren’t as strong in the book, I would say. So D&D [Benioff and Weiss] and Alex [Woo] brought the characters together from a very early stage. The [trilogy] reveals the characters much differently. But here, they take all of the important characters of the three books, put them all together, and have them be connected already from the very beginning of the story."

The director is full of praise for this approach to the story too, adding: "It’s a credit to their adaptation that they’re keeping the essence of the novel by making it even more international and on a more global scale. That is the right approach because this is an existential book. It’s a cosmic story, so it makes every sense to involve as many people with different backgrounds and different ethnicities in the story."

3 Body Problem is a time-bending story that kicks off with Ye Wenjie, an astrophysicist who makes a fateful decision while in the military that has impacts across time and space. In the trailer for the series, we see a group of modern-day scientists reckoning with the consequences as members of their community keep showing up dead. 

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3 Body Problem releases on Netflix on March 21, 2024. The above is just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX magazine, which features Dune: Part Two on the cover and is available on newsstands from Wednesday, February 21. For even more from SFX, sign up to our newsletter, which delivers all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

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Freelance Writer

Tara is the NYT bestselling author (or co-author) of 30 movie and TV companion books including the upcoming official history of Marvel Studios. She's also a freelance journalist with bylines at print and online publications such as: SCI FI Magazine, Total Film, SYFY Wire, Today.com, Fandom, Fandango/Movies.com, Fancast, Newsarama, Star Wars: Insider, Walking Dead Magazine, Star Trek Magazine, LOST: The Official Magazine, Alias Magazine, 24 Magazine, and VFXWorld.com. She is also the U.S. Editor for the world’s premiere sci-fi/fantasy publication, SFX Magazine. She is the host and producer for SYFY Wire’s official podcasts for USA Network’s, Colony, HISTORY's Project Blue Book official podcast, and the Lost retrospective, Through the Looking Glass co-hosted with Maureen Ryan.

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