Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss might be hopping genres in their first Netflix project—but they’ll also be returning to one of their biggest strengths.
On Tuesday Netflix announced that Benioff and Weiss will adapt the sci-fi trilogy The Three-Body Problem, by Chinese author Liu Cixin, into a series. The books follow humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization—and like Game of Thrones, the book trilogy features a sprawling universe that Benioff and Weiss will no doubt relish bringing to screen, just as they did George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.
The Three-Body Problem books, known formally as the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series, begin with The Three-Body Problem, followed by sequels The Dark Forest and Death’s End. The first installment follows an astrophysicist who, years after witnessing the death of her father at the hands of the Red Guards during China’s Cultural Revolution, invites extra-terrestrials to invade Earth.
Benioff and Weiss’s adaptation announcement also comes just over a year since the two struck their $200 million development deal with Netflix—joining prolific producers including Shonda Rhimes, Kenya Barris, and Ryan Murphy, all of whom have signed their own lucrative pacts.
As Benioff and Weiss put it in a statement, “Liu Cixin’s trilogy is the most ambitious science-fiction series we’ve read, taking readers on a journey from the 1960s until the end of time, from life on our pale blue dot to the distant fringes of the universe. We look forward to spending the next years of our lives bringing this to life for audiences around the world.”
Added Cixin, “I 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. It is a great honor as an author to see this unique sci-fi concept travel and gain fandom across the globe and I am excited for new and existing fans all over the world to discover the story on Netflix.”
And Benioff and Weiss are just two of the big names behind this series. Cixin himself will serve as a consulting producer, and additional executive producers will include Rian Johnson and his producing partner Ram Bergman, Rosamund Pike, and Brad Pitt’s production shingle Plan B Entertainment. And Alexander Woo, who co-created AMC’s The Terror: Infamy, will write and executive-produce alongside the pair.
Just yet another reason to be grateful Benioff and Weiss never made that utterly stupid-sounding Confederate show for HBO.