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Home Culture The murderer of the producer of ‘The Three Body Problem’ is sentenced to death in China | Culture

The murderer of the producer of ‘The Three Body Problem’ is sentenced to death in China | Culture

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If one thought that the premiere of the Netflix series The three body problem was going to be an inconsequential issue in China, he was wrong. The American adaptation of what is probably the most influential Chinese science fiction trilogy of all time, and one of the Asian giant’s most valuable intellectual properties, premiered worldwide on Thursday. Beyond the comments of Chinese Internet users, many of them dissatisfied, a Shanghai court sentenced Xu Yao to death this Friday, in one of those unlikely synchronicities, for the murder in 2020 of his boss: the billionaire Lin. Qi, owner of the video game company Yoozoo, and founder of The Three Body Universe, the production company that owns the film adaptation rights to the work written by Liu Cixin. Lin Qi’s name is among the executive producers of a fiction led by the creators of Game of Thrones. The convicted person is the former CEO of the Chinese production company.

The murder, carried out by poisoning, took place in December 2020, a few months after Yoozoo closed the adaptation deal with Netflix. Lin Qi was then 39 years old. Shortly before, the Financial Times He had assured that Amazon was considering paying about $1 billion to convert the trilogy into a series for its platform. It was Netflix that managed to close a contract for an amount that has not been revealed. Before she died, Lin Qi had entered the list of the richest people in China compiled by the publication Hurunwith a fortune estimated at 6.8 billion yuan (about 869 million euros).

“The development of The three bodies In television series and film it has followed a winding and strange path, one person has even died during the course. I don’t know where it’s headed in the future,” confessed the author, Liu Cixin, in an interview at the end of January with EL PAÍS. In his opinion, it was “quite terrifying” the way in which the value of the adaptation rights, which he had parted with years before for a small sum (“a few dollars,” he said without specifying), had multiplied. .

The sentence of the Shanghai Intermediate Court, which is appealable, does not detail the exact reasons for the murder, beyond the fact that the convicted man had a conflict with the victim “over company management issues” and that it was a premeditated act that he carried out using toxic substances. The resolution considers it proven that Xu poisoned Lin’s food items with toxins on December 14 and 15, 2020, which would cause his death 10 days later. He also sentenced him to another six years for the poisoning of four other employees, according to Beijing Daily.

The trilogy Remembrance of Earth’s past (often known by the title of the first volume, The three-body problem is one of the recent phenomena of Chinese and global science fiction, and its admirers include the likes of Barack Obama — “Wildly imaginative,” the former president told The New York Times—. The work has sold more than 11 million copies in the world (seven million in China) and has been translated into more than 30 languages. In 2015, its author, Liu Cixin, became the first Asian to win the Hugo Prize, considered the Nobel Prize for science fiction, thanks to the English edition of the first novel. At that moment the fame of the work skyrocketed. The trilogy also has a Chinese adaptation, developed by the technology giant Tencent, and released in 2023 in the People’s Republic.

An investigation of the environment The Wire China On the complex soap opera of adaptation rights, he claimed that these had been multiplying stratospherically since Liu Cixin sold them in 2010 for a small sum to some filmmakers. Later, in 2018, Lin Qi took ownership and founded the production company The Three Body Universe to develop the exploitation: he then placed Xu Yun, the convicted murderer, at the head of the company. Local media cited in this investigation They reported that the relationship between the two deteriorated as the value of the intellectual property grew.

When questioned about the matter, Liu Cixin gave his own version, without going into details of figures: when the rights to adapt the film were sold, it was “a minor matter”, because at that time it was “an unknown work and little striking,” he acknowledged during the interview with EL PAÍS. At that time, he said, science fiction still had a marginal presence in China, and film adaptations had only just begun. “When the adaptation rights were sold,” he added, “neither the publisher nor I took it too seriously. We did not foresee the subsequent development of science fiction in China to that point, becoming such a huge industry. At the time, it was casually thought that we could make a few dollars, nothing more. However, in the 10+ years since then, how much has the cost of adapting Chinese sci-fi intellectual property increased? Journalists have told me that it has multiplied by at least 300, and a multiplication by 300 in 10 years is already quite terrifying.”

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