Netflix To Take On Chinese Blockbuster ‘The Wandering Earth’

Netflix subscribers are about to get their chance of checking out China’s smash hit sci-fi drama, The Wandering Earth. Considered a sleeper hit for the Chinese market, The Wandering Earth tells the story of an “audacious attempt to save the planet” when the sun threatens to expand and devour it.

According to Variety, The Wandering Planet has already made approximately $603 million in the first 14 days of its theater release. As Business Insider points out, The Wandering Earth could actually turn out to be the highest-grossing movie of all time in China, considering Wolf Warrior 2, the current winner, made $850 million in its time. Now, Netflix has bought the rights to screen this juggernaut on their streaming service.

The Wandering Earth is based on the 2000 novella of the same name and written by Liu Cixin. Considered the king of sci-fi in China, he is also the first Asian novelist to win the Hugo Award for Science Fiction.

But what’s so special about this movie?

According to Netflix’s press release, The Wandering Earth is a visual feast as well as a compelling story about a group of people trying to save the Earth from destruction by the sun. In fact, it took two years of post-production to get the special effects just right. In addition to this, 10,000 specifically built props were developed and more than 2,000 special effects shots were taken to get the feel of the movie just right. And this was after more than 3,000 conceptual designs were developed. Finally, a massive amount of computer graphic shots were employed in the movie to make it visually stunning.

Image of two men pushing a sphere from Netflix's 'The wandering Earth'

Initially, the movie was made for the Chinese audience and the aim was for Chinese viewers across the world to be able to watch it. Now, the intent is to broaden the movie’s reach thanks to the new deal with Netflix.

Director Frant Gwo revealed that thanks to the deal garnered with Netflix, The Wandering Earth will now be seen by more than 190 countries. The movie will also be translated into 28 languages to make sure as broad an audience as possible will get to enjoy this movie.

Netflix provides the following synopsis for The Wandering Earth.

The Wandering Earth tells the story of a distant future in which the sun is about to expand into a red giant and devour the Earth, prompting mankind to make an audacious attempt to save planet. The multi-generational heroes build ten-thousand stellar engines in an effort to propel Planet Earth out the solar system, in the hope of finding a new celestial home. During the 2,500 year-long journey, a group of daring heroes emerge to defend human civilization from unexpected dangers and new enemies, and to ensure the survival of humanity in this age of the wandering Earth.”

Image of a man in a space suit from 'The Wandering Earth' movie

The Wandering Earth is directed and written by Frant Gwo. The movie also features Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, and Zhao Jinmai with a special appearance by Wu Jing.

While Netflix operates on a global scale, it does not have inclusion in China, according to Variety, because of local regulations. Previously, Netflix did have a deal through iQIYI. However, this license has since expired.

As yet, Netflix has not released details of the premiere date for The Wandering Earth.