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With Netflix's Adaptation, Trailer is a catalyst for Tencent' First 'Three-Body Problem, with the Streaming... Trailers Spark Rivalry

With Netflix's Adaptation, Trailer is a catalyst for Tencent' First 'Three-Body Problem, with the Streaming... Trailers Spark Rivalry

Tencent has released its first trailer for its take on Liu Cixins epic novel The Three-Body Problem, a Chinese sci-fi writer, offering hints at the potential for comparisons between the local adaptation and the Netflix version, which are already underway.

The book is the first in Lius Hugo Award-winning trilogy about the relationship between human and alien civilization and its first contact with a extraterrestrial civilization.

Tencent's adaptation is directed by Leon Yang Lei (The Red) and stars Zhang Luyi ("The red, The Devotion of Suspect X), Yu Hewei (The Cliff Walkers, "Crazy Alien); Chen Jin (All is Good) und Wang Ziwen (Ode to Joy).

Liu told the local press last month that Netflix is starting shooting the series this year, and that China could release the new series sooner than the Hollywood version.

The new Tencent trailer opens with an exchange between two off-screen male voices.

The second voice responds, to a backdrop of ominous music, with deep foghorn-like blasts that would feel like home on the Tenet soundtrack: Then most people are all dead.

A woman's voice says in a final line that it is the end of humanity.

Tencent nabbed the rights to adapt the story into a TV series back in 2008, now its version is entering crowded playing fields.

There are at least two other Three-Body Problem adaptations in China, including one film that has a patent holder, Yoozoo Group, that may have fallen permanently to the side, and an animated take from Gen Z and the anime-leaning platform Bilibili.

The American version is being co-created by the big shots David Benioff and Dan Weiss and Alexander Woo (the True Blood), and will be directed by Hong Kongs Derek Tsang (Better Days).

The streamer recently announced 12 cast members, about a third of whom are Asian descent. The casting decision has led to some backlash among Chinese fans, who are upset there arent more Chinese faces.

The original novel is almost entirely set in China and follows mostly Chinese characters during a time when foreigners were rarity in the country. The inclusion of so many foreign cast members has led many to express concerns that the story will not be set primarily in Middle Kingdom, potentially shearing the tale of its cultural and historical specificities.

In response to Tencents recent post about the new trailer, Three-Body is a story full of Chinese elements that are told by we Chinese from our Chinese perspective and ways of thinking... to express Chinese people s values, worldview and view of the universe. These things are very hard to do. Only we can do that, wrote one popular comment.

The top comment said a lot of people liked the word Buck up and said: You should not lose to Netflixs nonsense version.

The novel is set during the Cultural Revolution, which could pose a problem for the censors in relling chinese retelling.

Lius material may be caught between a rock and 'hard' place, he said. With the background of the Cultural Revolution, the mainland doesnt dare and foreign countries can not shoot it well, cramented one Yibo poster.

Many fans said they were looking forward to Tencent's adaptation, but many expressed concern that the China-made series wouldn't be able to hold its own when it came to the necessary special effects.

One commenter tried to calm down a passionate debate. The audience for each is different.

Watch the trailer below.