‘3 Body Problem’ Season 2 Might Cost Netflix $1B In The Long Run
— 10 April 2024

‘3 Body Problem’ Season 2 Might Cost Netflix $1B In The Long Run

— 10 April 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Intricate narrative aside, 3 Body Problem has proven to be one of the most ambitious Netflix shows to date — with the question of whether 3 Body Problem season 2 will actually be worth the eye-watering investment currently looming large.

The American adaptation of Liu Cixin’s award-winning science fiction novel(s) debuted successfully towards the end of March 2024. It claimed the #1 spot on Netflix’s Top 10 list across the globe, streamed 1.6 billion minutes in the first week alone, and garnered a respectable amount of critical acclaim.

The challenge, however, isn’t the matter of interest. It’s investment.

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For season 1, the production budget for each episode reportedly came to US$20 million (AU$30 million), bringing the spend thus far across eight episodes to US$160 million (AU$240 million). Effectively, this made 3 Body Problem one of the most expensive adaptations Netflix has ever undertaken.

And should creators David Benioff & DB Weiss (Game of Thrones) and Alexander Woo (True Blood) be provided with the opportunity to fully execute their vision for “at least three, maybe four seasons”…that could mean a final expenditure of US$640 million (AU$970 million). Just on production.

“It’s incredibly moving and mind-blowing, and so we’re desperate to get to the end,” Benioff said of the source material.

“That means, hopefully, if enough people watch it that Netflix will renew us and give us a couple more years.”

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On a per-episode basis, 3 Body Problem represents the third most expensive Netflix series of all time after Stranger Things season 4 at US$30 million (AU$45 million), edging out the likes of:

  • the live-action One Piece series at US$18 million (AU$27 million)
  • The Sandman at US$15 million (AU$22 million)
  • The Crown season 6 at US$13 million (AU$20 million)
  • Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down at US$11 million (U$17 million)

Anyway, here’s everything we know about Netflix’s 3 Body Problem season 2 right now.

Has 3 Body Problem season 2 been confirmed?

3 Body Problem season 2 (Netflix)

As outlined above, 3 Body Problem hasn’t gotten a renewal for season 2 just yet. And it’d be a damn shame if Netflix doesn’t pull the trigger.

“Honestly, the ending of the third book is one of my favourite endings of any giant saga of all time, so we want to get there,” David Benioff, who is still seeking redemption for botching the ending of another “giant saga,” recently told Empire.

“The hardest thing is always the first season. Can we justify the big investment from Netflix? I feel like this will grow as it grows. I’m hopeful.”

Regardless of whether this comes to fruition, you can expect more from Benioff and his Game of Thrones collaborator DB Weiss under the Netflix banner, given they inked a US$200 million overall deal with the streaming giant back in 2019.

What will the second season of 3 Body Problem be about?

[Warning: Season 1 spoilers ahead]

3 Body Problem season 1 fast-tracked the story from the first novel in Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy and began exploring narrative threads from the second book: The Dark Forest.

For context, in the closing episodes, it’s revealed the Trisolarans / San-Ti have evolved without the capacity to lie. Additionally, their sophon supercomputers can only intercept conversations, written communication, and digital communication. Meaning they cannot read human thought.

In response to this, the United Nations established the “Wallfacer” Program: candidates tasked with developing a plan to defeat Earth’s alien invaders contained entirely within their own minds. One of the candidates, who proves to be exceedingly reluctant, is Dr Saul Durand (Jovan Adepo). His appointment attracts several assassination attempts right from the jump.

3 Body Problem season 2 (Netflix)

At the same time, Trisolaran / San-Ti loyalist and alien-backed assassin Tatiana Haas (Australia’s very own Marlo Kelly) has ostensibly been recruited as what is dubbed the “Wallbreakers” in The Dark Forest. Through the VR “gaming” headset, it’s implied she has been granted full access to the information collected by the sophons and offered a glorious purpose: derailing the Wallfacers.

This will serve as the central plot for 3 Body Problem season 2.

“We have some really strong ideas about what to do in season 2, and then it’s a little hazier down the line,” Alexander Woo explained on the Inside Total Film Podcast.

“But we want to get to the end. We want to get to the end of the trilogy, whether that’s three or four, or some other number.”

Despite the fact that it’ll be some 400 years before the invasion kicks off in earnest, the clock is ticking in humanity’s fight for survival.

Do we know the 3 Body Problem season 2 cast members?

3 Body Problem season 2 (Netflix)

Assuming nobody has any career-defining scheduling conflicts, and assuming Netflix gives the second season the green light, we can expect the following to make a return:

  • Jovan Adepo as Dr Saul Durand
  • Jess Hong as Jin Cheng
  • Eiza González as Dr Augustina “Auggie” Salazar
  • Liam Cunningham as Thomas Wade
  • Marlo Kelly as Tatiana Haas
  • Sea Shimooka as Sophon
  • Saamer Usmani as Prithviraj “Raj” Varma
  • Benedict Wong as Clarence “Da” Shi
  • CCH Pounder as Secretary-General of the United Nations Lillian Joseph
  • Josh Brener as Sebastian Kent

Furthermore, while [SPOILERS] both Dr Ye Wenjie and Mike Evans are canonically deceased, there’s a chance Rosaline Chao / Zine Tseng and Jonathan Pryce / Ben Schnetzer might appear in flashback sequences.

The same can be said about John Bradley as Jack Rooney, Alex Sharp as Will Downing, and Vedette Lim as Vera Ye.

As for new cast members, those details remain unclear at this stage.

What is the 3 Body Problem season 2 release date (Australia or otherwise)?

3 Body Problem season 1 was announced in September 2020, officially began production in November 2021, wrapped production in late 2022, and — due in large part to the SAG-AFTRA, Writer’s Guild of America strikes — only premiered in March 2024.

If the schedule resembles something like this (accounting for all those one-off delays), and should Netflix confirm 3 Body Problem season 2 has been greenlit for development within the next six months, we can expect the release date to land sometime in late 2026/early 2027.

Has the 3 Body Problem season 2 trailer been dropped yet?

Netflix’s 3 Body Problem season 2 definitely doesn’t have a trailer. In the meantime, enjoy the season 1 trailer below (and revisit the actual season itself on the platform).

Want to see what else is en route on the streaming giant? Check out everything coming to Netflix Australia.

If it’s feature-length entertainment you’re after, check out the best movies on Netflix Australia right now.  

If episodic entertainment is more your style, check out the best shows on Netflix Australia instead. 

And if you’re looking to add to your streaming stack, take a look at our round-up on the best streaming services in Australia

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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