Stephen King Says the New 3 Body Problem Has Nothing on the 2023 'Lovecraftian' Version

Stephen King Says the New 3 Body Problem Has Nothing on the 2023 'Lovecraftian' Version
Image credit: Netflix, CCTV

Netflix’s latest sci-fi TV show is good — just not as good as the original adaptation, the King of Horror claims.

The notorious Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss took their game to the next level with 3 Body Problem, their latest hard sci-fi TV show that recently premiered on Netflix. While D&D are getting props and great reviews from everyone, the celebrated author Stephen King has a little something to say about it, too — but it’s not just sheer praise from the King of Horror.

In fact, the famous writer largely preferred the previous adaptation that went criminally overlooked in America.

King Defends the Superior Adaptation

Much like everyone else, Stephen King recently jumped into the 3 Body Problem wagon thanks to the Netflix adaptation. But upon watching it, the author had to point out that, while Benioff and Weiss’s version is good, it has nothing on the earlier 2023 Chinese adaptation called Three-Body. Most people didn’t even know about it!

“Three-Body (Amazon Prime) is the original Chinese version of 3 Body Problem (Netflix). Both are good. The Chinese version is harder [sci-fi], but the implications of its later episodes are terrifying, Lovecraftian: ‘The lifeless noise of the universe,’” Stephen King wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

The celebrated writer has always loved all things Lovecraftian, so no wonder he enjoyed the Chinese version more… But how is it different and should you watch it?

Chinese Three-Body Is More Fleshed Out

Stephen King Says the New 3 Body Problem Has Nothing on the 2023 'Lovecraftian' Version - image 1

Both the Tencent and Netflix versions only have one season released so far, so you’re by no means late to the table. Apart from its cast and generally darker approach, the first thing you’ll notice about Three-Body is that it has significantly more episodes — 30, to be exact, against Netflix’s eight. This allowed the 2023 adaptation to be more in-depth, fleshing out the finer details and subplots.

Another big difference is the faithfulness to the original novel, with the Chinese version adapting it much more accurately… With one noticeable exception, that is.

“I've seen the Netflix version, the Tencent dub version on YouTube, & read the translated book by Cixin Liu. The Tencent production (dubbed) is more similar to the book but skims over the pivotal events of the Cultural Revolution. Netflix and Cixin Liu didn't pull punches there,” X (formerly Twitter) user nuveeena replied to King.

The verdict is, if you’ve loved the Netflix adaptation, you should totally give the Tencent version a spin, too, and see what works best for you. 2023’s Three-Body is available on Prime Video.