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The 'Three-Body Problem' Series Could Be Amazon's $1 Billion Answer to 'Game of Thrones'

Jeff Bezos is after his own hit.

by River Donaghey
Mar 28 2018, 8:00pm

Photo of Bezos by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos really, really, really, really wants his own Game of Thrones series for Amazon, and it looks like he's ready to spend more money than the Iron Bank of Braavos can hold to get it.

Amazon has reportedly already dropped hundreds of millions to make a Lord of the Rings TV show and now the company is gearing up to shell out even more. According to Vanity Fair, Amazon is currently in talks to buy up the rights to the Chinese sci-fi book series, The Three-Body Problem—for a whopping $1 billion.

Of course, Amazon is Amazon, and it's got the deep pockets to throw around a billion to get Bezos his tentpole hit, but even still, that kind of money means the fledgling project is already on track to be one of the most expensive series ever produced.

Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, better known by the title of its first book, The Three-Body Problem, is a sprawling, literary sci-fi epic. But the basic premise involves some aliens on their way to invade Earth, and the fractures between the humans who want to welcome the visitors and work with them and those gearing up for war. From there, it evolves into a vast, tangled story involving virtual reality and China's Cultural Revolution and galaxy-spanning conspiracies and things not easily summarized in tidy soundbites.

The Three-Body Problem was a massive hit in China when it was first released in 2008, and went on to win a Hugo for its English translation in 2015. NPR called the book "a science-fiction epic of the most profound" and Barack Obama even praised it, saying that "the scope of [the book] was immense" that it made his "day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty."

Amazon is reportedly trying to acquire the rights to the book from Chinese studio YooZoo Pictures—which currently owns the TV and film rights—in order to produce a three-season run based on the series. There's no word yet on when the series might go into production if and when the company secures the rights, but Obama is probably kicking himself right now for not bringing the idea to Netflix first.

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