Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem and the rest of his Remembrances of Earth’s Past trilogy have been hailed as a modern science fiction classic since it was translated into English in 2014. Predictably, many of the series’ fans have wondered when there’ll be a film or television adaptation of the series.
Interestingly, it turns out that there is one: an animated series called My Three-Body, which used Minecraft to bring the story to life.
There have already been a couple of efforts to adapt The Three-Body Problem for film. A Chinese production company filmed an adaptation of the novel back in 2015, but that project has since sat on a shelf, rumored to be of poor quality. A couple of years later, Amazon had apparently been negotiating for the rights for an adaptation of its own for its streaming services, although the production company that owns the rights to the series has disputed that.
Since then, Chinese science fiction got its biggest boost yet: The Wandering Earth, an epic science fiction blockbuster that adapts another of Cixin’s stories. The success of that film seems to have prompted a new adaptation of The Three-Body Problem: an animated series, which will apparently run for 24 episodes. That series is set to debut in 2021, according to Chinese video-sharing site Bilibili.
But while we wait, there’s another official adaptation that’s been running on the site for a couple of years.
My Three-Body is an animated series created by Zhenyi Li, one of the site’s uploaders, who began adapting Cixin’s series on his own, using Minecraft. He had discovered the novels in China’s Science Fiction World magazine in 2006, and he wanted to share the books with other fans around the country. According to Bilibili, Li’s series has become an officially authorized project.
The first series, My Three-Body, covers the events of the first novel, and was launched in 2014. The second series, My Three-Body: The Legend of Luo Ji, debuted in 2016, and follows the events of the second novel, The Dark Forest, and the character Luo Ji, a sociologist who is made one of the “Wallfacers”—a select group of individuals granted extraordinary resources to combat the Trisolaran invasion.
The video site recently debuted a third series, My Three-Body: The Legend of Zhang Beihai, which ran for nine episodes, which debuted in January. This season follows the second half of The Dark Forest, following Zhang Beihai, a naval officer engaged in the fight against the Trisolarans.
The result is a little goofy with Minecraft-styled animation, but it appears to have gotten better in the years since.
Despite that visual style, it looks as though it’s a fairly faithful adaptation, and it’s a fun way to catch up on the series if it’s been a while since you’ve read it. And, it should help bide the time while we wait for the other animated adaptation to drop next year. At the very least, it’ll be a fun thing to watch while we’re trapped inside for the foreseeable future.