BEIJING, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by China.org.cn on the transnational adaption of “The Three-body Problem”:
On September 1st, Netflix, the world’s leading streaming service, announced plans to bring an acclaimed Chinese sci-fi trilogy “The Three-body Problem” to the small screen. D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the “Game of Thrones” showrunners will tackle this adaptation. Liu Cixin, author of the trilogy, and Ken Liu, the English translator, will serve as consulting producers.
“The Three-body Problem” is the first Asian novel to win a Hugo Award for Best Novel. With millions of fans around the world, there is much anticipation for a TV adaptation.
However, since Netflix announced its plan, concern has outweighed excitement. Given the controversial ending to “Game of Thrones,” many are skeptical of Benioff and Weiss’s ability for adaptation. Meanwhile, as the books delve deep into Chinese culture and history, some readers outside of China are worried that Netflix might “westernize” the story.
The trilogy tells the clash between humans and aliens from Trisolaris, a doomed planet with three suns, orbiting in an unstable state of three-body problem in classical mechanics. After intercepting signals from Earth, the aliens paralyze Earth’s advancement of science and begin their invasion toward Earth. In response, humans empower Wallfacers to fight against the aliens. Liu Cixin said that he set out to tell a story that “transcends time and the confines of nations, cultures and races; one that compels us to consider the fate of humankind as a whole.”
In the novel, all humans share the challenge for their fate, and in reality, such conundrum remains. Today, our Trisolaris threat is the COVID-19 pandemic; in the future, it could take other forms. What will remain constant is that humanity share weal and woe; in no way could mankind survive and prosper via confrontation and separation.
Facing common challenges, all humans should stand together. As for where the benefits coincide, people should all the more collaborate for win-win outcomes.
Despite the many uncertainties of the Netflix adaptation, the company is better-suited compared to its fledgling Chinese counterparts. For example, it has a good track record of adapting source material from Japan and South Korea. The transnational adaption of “The Three-body Problem” is a marriage between superb storytelling and superior producing techniques. Literary masterpieces are the common treasure for all humanity, and great international adaptation should be encouraged, so as to make them accessible for more people around the world.
The real message here goes beyond the trilogy or literature. Cooperation should neither be restricted within national borders, nor politicized. All countries should seek common development, and secure a better future for mankind.
‘The Three-body Problem’ × Netflix: Beyond sci-fi and nations
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