Netflix recently revealed that it has purchased worldwide rights to one of the biggest box office hits in the world, The Wandering Earth, based on the novel by Cixin Liu. The film has already grossed more than half a billion dollars in China, having only been in theaters for two weeks, now the streaming giant is bringing the film to it’s library, giving the rest of the world a chance to see the film.
In the distant future, the sun begins to expand into a red giant, threatening all life on Earth. People all around the world built giant planet thrusters to move Earth out of its orbit and to sail Earth to a new star system, a journey that will take 2500 years to make. But the journey is not without dangers, and a group of young people come together to fight for humanity’s survival.
According to Netflix, the film was given a production scale that’s rarely seen in China. Post production and special effects took two years to complete, 10,000 specially built props, approximately 2000 special effects shots, including lots of computer graphic effects.
The film is directed by Frant Gwo, who had only two previous films under his belt, and none on the scale as The Wandering Earth. It was reported that James Cameron and Luc Besson had been approached, but turned the project down.
Many weren’t sure if Frant would be successful in bringing the story to the screen, but sometimes people just really believe in a project. In an unusual vote of confidence, one of the stars of the film, Jing Wu, whose normal pay for films is generally $10 million USD, not only agreed to film the rest of his scenes for free, but also invested 9 million of his own money into the film.
Netflix plans on translating the film into 28 languages when the film becomes available for it’s subscribers. While it’s not known how much Netflix paid for the rights to the film nor when it will be available, it’s pretty much a win for everyone. For the filmmakers, it brings their film to a wider audience. It will appeal to the global Chinese audience, and lovers of Chinese cinema. For Netflix, this is merely the beginning, as they plan on bringing more Chinese cinema to it’s subscribers, including their first original Chinese language television series.
As more details become available, SCIFI.radio will bring it to you. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer and the movie poster, and tell us your thoughts.
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.