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The Three-Body Problem Netflix Release Date, Cast And Plot

Ever since Game of Thrones ended in 2019, there has been a hole in the TV landscape, just waiting for the next giant, ambitious, high-quality series. Luckily, a solution might soon be coming, in the form of a recently announced sci-fi epic, produced by Netflix, from Game of Thrones' creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Titled The Three-Body Problem, the show will adapt the Remembrance of Earth's Past series, a trilogy of acclaimed science fiction novels by Chinese author Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem is the name of the first book). According to Deadline, Benioff and Weiss are writing and producing the series along with a cavalcade of impressive partners, including Rian Johnson and Alexander Woo. Both the books' author and one of its English language translators, Ken Liu, will also serve as consulting producers. These books have won numerous accolades, including the prestigious Hugo Award for science fiction and fantasy novels, and they even count President Barack Obama as a fan (via New York Times). 

In other words, this is a very exciting announcement for lovers of epic sci-fi shows. So, let's break down everything we know so far about Netflix's The Three-Body Problem adaptation.

Do we have any idea when The Three-Body Problem will be released?

As excited as science fiction fans might be about The Three-Body Problem arriving on Netflix, it's probably wise to temper that excitement just a bit: At this time of writing, no release date for the series has been set, and realistically, it's quite likely to be a long time before the show makes it to streaming. 

Take, for example, Benioff and Weiss' last TV series, Game of Thrones. It was all the way back in 2007 that HBO first announced that they had optioned George R. R. Martin's books (via Variety), about four and a half years before the first episode aired. Now, there were several unique hiccups that occurred during production, including the 2007-08 Writer's Guild of America strike, and a failed initial pilot, which can account for some of that wait. Nonetheless, projects of an epic sort, like Game of Thrones also just take time to get off the ground. Given the scale of The Three-Body Problem, it's likely to be similar. 

What's a fair guess? At best, The Three-Body Problem could release on Netflix sometime in 2022, at the earliest. Most likely, it won't be out until 2023, or later.

What we know about the cast of The Three-Body Problem

Just like their last TV project, The Three-Body Problem is expected to have a large cast of characters. No casting announcements were made when the series was announced, but when it comes to making predictions, there are a few things to discuss. First, it's important to note that many of the characters, throughout the trilogy, are Chinese. Significant portions of the novel take place in China. Unless Benioff and Weiss (unwisely) decide to alter the nationality of the characters, expect actors of Chinese descent to feature prominently in the cast of The Three-Body Problem.

Second, there is the question of whether any big names will sign up for the series. Although everyone now knows the Game of Thrones cast quite well, many of them were total unknowns before arriving in Westeros, with a few exceptions. Given the book trilogy's popularity, combined with the big names already attached behind the scenes, it's possible the project might attract some notable faces such as Ming-Na Wen, BD Wong, Awkwafina, Fan Bingbing, Ken Leung, and Tang Wei, to give a few examples. For now, though, there are no actors attached. 

The plot of The Three-Body Problem is sci-fi storytelling at its finest

The Remembrance of Earth's Past series is a sci-fi odyssey on a truly epic scale. The first book, The Three-Body Problem, kicks off during the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the sixties and seventies. During this timeline, readers are introduced to Ye Wenjie, an astrophysicist whose father was a college professor that was killed during the uprisings. Distraught by the state of her country, and the world, Ye throws herself into her work. While experimenting with radio waves, she makes contact with an alien civilization that is interested in coming to earth.

From there, the story takes some incredible twists and turns, throughout the course of all three books. There are multiple timelines at play, and some of the action even takes place in outer space. While the books are known for their deep exploration of scientific, esoteric, and existential themes, they are buttressed by an engaging story that incorporates elements of thriller and mystery storytelling.

As you can see, there's still a lot of details to be hammered out in regards to Netflix's upcoming The Three-Body Problem series. We just hope the show premieres before any actual alien life arrives in this timeline.