'The Wandering Earth' author Liu Cixin shares views on Chinese sci-fi film

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, February 13, 2019
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Liu Cixin answers questions selected by CCTV News from internet users at home in Yangquan County, Shanxi province, Feb. 10, 2019. [Photo/ CCTV News]

Science fiction author Liu Cixin said China's rapid modernization provides the foundation for sci-fi culture and films in Yangquan County, Shanxi province, on Sunday.

Liu, who authored the world-renowned "Three Body Problem" series and the novel of the current blockbuster "The Wandering Earth," celebrated Spring Festival just like everyone else. 

During the 7-day Chinese Spring Festival holiday, "The Wandering Earth" grossed two billion yuan (US$296.62 million), becoming the highest-grossing film released over the holiday season. Many film critics predict that "The Wandering Earth" will usher in a new sci-fi era for China.

"China's science fiction development is due to the larger environment of the country rather than the development of science fiction itself. As 'The Wandering Earth' director Frant Gwo has mentioned repeatedly, China is experiencing rapid modernization, which allows fertile soil for scientific literature and films to grow," Liu said as he answered questions from internet users at home. 

Liu also answered a series of online questions selected by China Central Television (CCTV) News. The writer doesn't believe the sun will die as portrayed in the film, "the solar system is stable so far, it will be a very long time before the human race can see whether the sun has any big changes."

He also admitted to some inconsistencies in the film. In one scene, a mere smash of a camera ended up destroying a whole artificial intelligence (AI) system. "You need to be very professional to destroy the AI. However, if they want to depict this in the film it will cost a lot of time and money, which the film crew may not have," Liu said.

The writer was unsure whether the producers would continue doing sequels based on "The Wandering Earth," a stunning 2,500-year interstellar odyssey. "But if the box office results are similar, it is possible to make second and third installments out of the story. I would love to see all my works being adapted into films. But sci-fi films have more restrictions than those in literature."

A poster of "The Wandering Earth" [Image courtesy of Beijing Culture]

According to Liu Cixin, China's domestic sci-fi film development should be diverse and include various styles. In addition, a sci-fi film industry should be established. "For example, you have to be very professional when you make outer space special effects, make spaceships and so on."

Moreover, he stressed the importance of original creation, "We need to create more influential science fiction works, now we lack this. Also, we need more sci-fi screenwriters and need to train more."

Liu remembered that one American writer told him, the generation who were born in the 1960s in China is the luckiest generation in China. "He said, 'no other generation in human history like you can see such radical change of the world around you in your lifetime,' I agree," he said. "The world in my childhood and the world today are two different worlds. This is so lucky for a sci-fi writer. If I was born in another era, I would not have become the man I am."

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