‘The 3-Body Problem’: the rivalry behind the Netflix series that ended with billionaire murdered and lawyer sentenced to death

‘The 3-Body Problem’: the rivalry behind the Netflix series that ended with billionaire murdered and lawyer sentenced to death
‘The 3-Body Problem’: the rivalry behind the Netflix series that ended with billionaire murdered and lawyer sentenced to death
Article information
  • author, Kelly Ng
  • Roll, From BBC News
  • April 2, 2024

    Updated 4 hours ago

The series gained an audience even in China, where Netflix is ​​not available, generating a lot of debate among viewers of the series.

But many fans of the series, based on a trilogy credited with boosting the nascent science fiction genre in China after its publication in 2008, have also been paying attention to a trial in Shanghai, where one of the main names behind the adaptation was sentenced to death. not long after the series’ release.

Your crime? Assassinate a man sometimes dubbed China’s “millennial billionaire” — gaming mogul Lin Qi, whose company Yoozoo Games has the rights to film adaptations of the Chinese sci-fi epic.

According to the court, Xu Yao, who was known as a distinguished lawyer, became consumed by professional rivalry after Lin sidelined him shortly after he helped close the Netflix deal in 2020.

A few months after this alleged disrespect, Lin was dead — the victim of a poisoning plot described as “premeditated” and “extremely despicable” by the court last week.


Photo caption,

Xu Yao, who worked on the Netflix adaptation, poisoned his colleague Lin Qi over a business dispute

Billion fortune

For fans of The 3-Body Problemwhich features an alien civilization and is set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, the parallels were clear.

“At least we know that Xu Yao and Lin Qi have read The 3-Body Problem completely. Lose your humanity and you will lose a lot; Lose your animal nature and you will lose everything,” says a comment on China’s Weibo.

Lin and Xu reportedly got along well at first: Lin appointed Xu to lead a subsidiary called The Three Body Universe a year later after joining Yoozoo as the company’s chief risk officer in 2017.

The subsidiary was responsible for securing the intellectual property rights for the film adaptations, and the two worked closely in negotiating the deal to adapt the literary work into a Netflix original series.

But they fell out when Lin — who founded Yoozoo in 2009 — decided to put other executives in charge of business operations, according to local reports. That’s when Xu, authorities say, began plotting.

Some reports say he created a company in Japan to acquire the lethal substances and even tested them on animals. Xu then disguised the substances as probiotic pills and gave them to Lin.

Lin was admitted to hospital when he felt unwell after taking the pills and was initially in a stable condition. But his condition took a dramatic turn: he died 10 days later, on Christmas 2020, at age 39.

At the time, he was believed to have a net worth of around 6.8 billion yuan (R$4.7 billion), according to the Hurun China Rich List.

Four other people fell ill from drinking poisoned drinks in Yoozoo’s office but survived, the court heard.

Following the death, Yoozoo issued a statement on its official Weibo microblog that said, “Goodbye… We will be together, we will continue to be kind, we will continue to believe in goodness, and we will continue to fight against everything that is bad.”

The death shocked China’s gaming and technology sectors and sparked widespread speculation, but it took years for the full details to emerge – although Xu was detained just days later.

The Three-Body Problem is the first book in a trilogy called Remembrance of Earth’s Past, by Chinese author Liu Cixin. The novel has been translated into around 30 languages ​​since it was published in Chinese.

The Netflix series, called The 3-Body Problemdebuted with 11 million views in its first four days and has remained among Netflix’s most-watched shows since its March 21 release.

The series is one of the most expensive projects undertaken by the streaming giant, with a reported budget of US$160 million for eight episodes. Its co-creators include Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weis and the book’s author Liu. Lin is posthumously credited as executive producer.

The series received positive reviews in China, but also attracted some criticism for its detailed portrayal of the Cultural Revolution and for allegedly ignoring Chinese themes present in the original work.

Yoozoo also holds the rights to the Chinese television series called Three-Body, which premiered last year, as well as the animation and theatrical adaptations of The Three-Body Problem.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: #3Body Problem rivalry Netflix series ended billionaire murdered lawyer sentenced death



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