Thursday , April 18 2024

SXSW 2024 Film Review: ‘3 Body Problem’ – Search for Aliens and Conspiracies with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

The first episode of 3 Body Problem, a new sci-fi series by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and their new partner Alexander Woo, premiered as part of the 2024 edition of the SXSW Conference and Festivals. This was the thirty-first year of the film and TV festival, which ran March 8 through 16. It included 118 feature films with 91 world premieres. The festival also included over 100 TV shows, short films, and extended reality (XR) experiences.

Woo Who?

Benioff and Weiss are familiar to most TV fans and Alexander Woo should be, too. Woo produced 70 episodes of True Blood and also worked on Sleeper Cell, Manhattan, and The Terror.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and their new partner Alexander Woo

The story that brought this powerhouse team together begins in 1960s China against the background of the cultural revolution. A young woman named Ye Wenjie, played by Zine Tseng, is forced into a role in a research project which ultimately sends signals into space to contact aliens.

countdown timer
Strange countdown timers show up in character’s brains

The results of this contact reverberate through the decades to the present. Ye Wenjie, played in the present by Rosalind Chao (Mulan, What Dreams May Come), becomes involved in the mystery involving countdown timers appearing in people’s minds, a possibly toxic video game called Body Problem, and the laws of physics seeming to unravel.

Are the aliens behind all of this?


As the laws of nature unravel before their eyes, five former colleagues reunite to confront the greatest threat in humanity’s history.

Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver, Godzilla vs Kong) plays Auggie Salazar, a scientist dedicated to using science to protect humanity. Other scientists are motivated by less philanthropic goals.

Eiza Gonzalez
Eiza Gonzalez plays a scientist dedicated to helping humanity

Game of Thrones fans will recognize John Bradley who played Samwell Tarly in the earlier Benioff and Weiss series. Bradley plays Jack Rooney in 3 Body Problem. Rooney gets involved with the video game mentioned in the title – Body Problem – which appears will have a bigger impact as the series progresses. People interact with the game by donning a helmet to enter its VR world.

In a totally fun SXSW moment, all the seats at the Paramount Theatre were provided with life-size replicas of the helmets (minus the actual game) and most attendees put these on during the post screening Q&A so the cast and crew could get a picture with the entire audience in 3 Body Problem attire.

Bradley Game
John Bradley’s character becomes hypnotized by a video game

Coming Up

As a sci-fi fan since high school, I am definitely looking forward to watching the entire series. It is based on the Chinese novel The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin. Fans of the novel anticipate that the series will need more than one season to tell the entire story. The series premieres on Netflix on Thursday, March 21. You can find trailers and teasers at the series’ site on Netflix.

Next year’s SXSW will take place March 7 through 15. You can find out more at their website or on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn .

About Leo Sopicki

Writer, photographer, graphic artist and technologist. I focus my creative efforts on celebrating the American virtues of self-reliance, individual initiative, volunteerism, tolerance and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

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