After Game of Thrones, showrunners wanted to do something "different" with 3 Body Problem

3 Body Problem, the new sci-fi show from David Benioff and Dan Weiss, is different from Game of Thrones in many ways, save one: It's a huge risk.
3 Body Problem. Zine Tseng as Young Ye Wenjie in episode 102 of 3 Body Problem. Cr. Ed Miller/Netflix © 2024
3 Body Problem. Zine Tseng as Young Ye Wenjie in episode 102 of 3 Body Problem. Cr. Ed Miller/Netflix © 2024 /

David Benioff and Dan Weiss are best known for making Game of Thrones, inarguably the buzziest, most exciting show of the 2010s. They're returning to big-budget TV with 3 Body Problem, a new Netflix series based on the Remembrance of Earth's Past novels by Liu Cixin. Broadly speaking, the story is about humanity's first contact with a hostile extraterrestrial species, and takes place across different continents, generations, and realities. We are definitely not in Westeros anymore.

"We spent 13 wonderful years in the world of that show and wouldn’t trade them for anything," Weiss told Total Film about his experience on Game of Thrones. "But we really wanted to do something that felt different in many, many ways."

But as different as 3 Body Problem is, it recalls Game of Thrones in that it's a big risk; before Benioff and Weiss adapted George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, people weren't sure if such a sprawling story featuring hundreds of characters to meet and places to visit could work onscreen. Would people be able to keep up? Obviously they did, but there were no guarantees.

Remembrance of Earth's Past is also a complicated story. It sprawls in different ways, and there's a ton of technical scientific talk that may repel some readers. "It was not immediately obvious how [the books] could be turned into a TV show," Benioff said. "But we knew that it was different from anything else we’d encountered." His appetite for risk has not abated.

Benioff and Weiss are making 3 Body Problem with Alexander Woo, who sees good signs ahead of the show's March release. "A lot of people did say, 'Oh, I don’t know what this is about, but I really want to see it,' which was exactly the effect [we wanted]," he said.

3 Body Problem drops on Netflix on March 21.

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