Netflix’s ‘Three-Body Problem’ adaptation ropes in Oscar-nominated filmmaker Derek Tsang

Joining 'Game of Thrones' showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who are adapting the sci-fi trilogy by Liu Cixin

Netflix’s upcoming series adaptation of The Three-Body Problem, based on a sci-fi novel trilogy by Chinese author Liu Cixin, has named its first director: Derek Tsang.

The Hong Kong filmmaker known for his Oscar-nominated 2019 film Better Days will direct the show’s first episode, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Tsang is the latest person to join the project, following Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, along with co-creator, writer, and executive producer Alexander Woo.


David Benioff and D.B. Weiss attend 2020 Netflix SAG After Party at Sunset Tower on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Netflix

The Three-Body Problem trilogy, officially titled Remembrance of Earth’s Past but informally known as the former title, consists of three novels: 2006’s The Three-Body Problem, 2008’s The Dark Forest, and 2010’s Death’s End.

The trilogy gained international acclaim after it was re-released with an English translation, beginning with the first entry in 2014. The following year, it won Liu the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Set in China, the sci-fi trilogy tells a story of Earth in the distant future as it prepares for an impending alien invasion. The ‘three-body problem’ refers to the aliens’ neighbouring star system, which has three stars orbiting around each other, causing a repeated destabilisation of civilisation on its Earth-like planets.

No cast members have been confirmed, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, that Mexican actress Eiza González has been in talks to join.


Netflix first revealed its plans to adapt the books last September, after acquiring the English rights from Chinese production company YooZoo Pictures. The latter has been developing a Chinese feature film adaptation of the series since 2015, which is set to star Feng Shaofeng and Zhang Jingchu.