Since Game of Thrones ended in 2019 with perhaps the biggest whimper in recent TV history, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been conspicuous in their silence. Once tapped to shepherd a big property in the Star Wars franchise, the pair have largely laid low these last four years. That’s poised to change with the arrival of their new series for Netflix, 3 Body Problem, set to debut in January 2024.
Netflix released the first official teaser for the series on June 17, and if it’s any indication, we’re in for a knotty science fiction tale and some staggering CGI setpieces.
The show is adapted from a popular book series of the same name by Chinese author Liu Cixin, which refers to “the three-body problem,” a complex mathematical conundrum about the relationship between objects all controlled by gravity in relation to one another. (It was first proposed by Isaac Newton and is widely believed to be unsolvable.)
The story focuses on Ye Wenji (played by Joy Luck Club actor Rosalind Chao), an astrophysicist in China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, who winds up making contact with extraterrestrial life. The series will, naturally, feature a handful of Game of Thrones alums, including John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), and Jonathan Pryce (The High Sparrow). The show features Saamer Usmani, Jovan Adepo, Eiza González and Benedict Wong.
3 Body Problem is the first book in a trilogy by Cixin—it’s unclear how much of the first book the first season will encompass, though Benioff and Weiss, who ran out of plot roadmap on Game of Thrones, are surely very grateful that all three books have actually been released.
Benioff and Weiss signed a development deal with Netflix in 2019, around the same time that their aforementioned Star Wars plans petered out.An ill-advised series for HBO called Confederacy, which would’ve focused on an alternate history in which the U.S. Civil War ended with the southern states successfully seceding, met a similar fate.
Since Confederacy fell through and the duo inked their Netflix deal they’ve released minimal material. Weiss wrote the screenplay for the teen music film Metal Lords in 2022, while Benioff co-wrote the much maligned Will Smith sci-fi vehicle Gemini Man. The pair are still the object of much scorn online from fans who were frustrated with their rushed conclusion to *Game of Thrones—*we’ll see if audiences are ready to welcome them back to TV with open arms in January.