The first two seasons of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series will cost approximately $500 million, with $250 million going towards the rights and the other $250 million spent on the actual production. That’s a lot of money (who needs the One Ring when you can buy this rock?), but Amazon is planning to spend even more dough on another show based on a popular book series.
Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy — which includes The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End — isn’t as well known as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, but the science-fiction series, which is loosely about aliens preparing to invade Earth, is massively popular in China; it even won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015.
Here’s a brief synopsis of The Three-Body Problem, which President Barack Obama once called “immense” and “just wildly imaginative, really interesting.”
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.
Amazon wants to turn Cixin’s work into a television show, but there’s one issue: the rights belong to China’s YooZoo Pictures, and they’ve been trying to make a Three-Body Problem movie since 2014. According to The Financial Times, Amazon will likely have to pony up $1 billion “to acquire the rights and to produce three seasons of episodes.” If anyone can afford that, it’s this guy.
(Via The Financial Times)