A Three-Body Problem Adaptation Is Arriving Sooner Than You Think

It’s not uncommon to see multiple adaptations of popular books, but this is hardly a “David Lynch’s Dune versus Denis Villeneuve’s Dune” situation. Weeks before Netflix is set to roll out its high-profile adaptation of Chinese author Liu Cixin’s award-winning sci-fi novel The Three-Body Problem, a rival streamer is beating it to the punch.

Starting February 10, Peacock will stream Three-Body, a 2023 adaptation created by Tencent for Chinese TV. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the timing coincides with the Lunar New Year, but points out that NBCUniversal’s press release makes it very clear there’s another motive at play. The PR explains, “With all the buzz surrounding Netflix’s English adaptation, we’re excited about the opportunity for sci-fi and Chinese drama fans to watch the Chinese-language original (with English subtitles) ahead of the Hollywood adaptation.”

The trade notes that despite drawing from the same source material, the series are actually quite different. Three-Body runs 30 episodes and covers Liu Cixin’s full Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy with “ultra-faithful” attention to detail, aside from bypassing the story’s take on the Chinese cultural revolution; the Netflix show is just eight episodes and focuses on the trilogy’s first installment, with a global cast and an aim toward making “the dense and physics-heavy novels” accessible and entertaining for Netflix audiences.

If you’re curious, you can soon compare the two: Three-Body hits Peacock tomorrow, February 10, while 3 Body Problem arrives March 21 on Netflix.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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