Netflix’s sci-fi epic Three-Body Problem has found its first director.
Hong Kong filmmaker Derek Tsang – whose 2019 film Better Days swept the Hong Kong Film Awards and was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars – will helm the drama’s first episode and help set the tone for the ambitious series.
The reveal marks the first piece of official news about the mysterious project since it was first announced last year.
Three-Body Problem is set to be the first series with writer-producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss serving as showrunners since HBO’s Game of Thrones. Alexander Woo (The Terror: Infamy) also serves as a co-creator, writer and executive producer.
The project is based on Chinese author Liu Cixin sci-fi trilogy which tells the story of what happens when humanity discovers that we are not alone in the universe and prepares for an alien force arriving from a distant and inhospitable world. The title refers to the aliens’ star system which has three stars orbiting each other in such a way that an Earth-type planet between them keeps suffering extreme hot and cold temperatures which repeatedly wipe out its intelligent civilizations. The first book in the trilogy, The Three-Body Problem (the show has dropped the “The”) won the prestigious Hugo Award in 2015.
No casting has yet been announced on the project, but Eiza Gonzalez (I Care A Lot) has reportedly been in talks to join.
Other executive producers include Thrones veteran Bernadette Caulfield; Rian Johnson (Knives Out) and his producing partners Ram Bergman and Nena Rodrigue; Lin Qi, the late chairman of rights-holders Yoozoo Group, and Zhao Jilong, CEO of the rights-holder, The Three-Body Universe; Rosamund Pike and Robie Uniacke for Primitive Streak; and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.
Since signing an overall deal with Netflix in 2019, Benioff and Weiss also produced Amanda Peet and Annie Wyman’s dramedy The Chair, which stars Sandra Oh as the head of a crisis-plagued college English department, and releases its first season Aug. 20. The duo also directed Leslie Jones’ 2020 stand-up comedy special Time Machine.
In addition to Better Days, Tsang also received critical acclaim for his solo directorial debut, 2016’s Soul Mate. He’s repped by UTA.