Chinese filmmaking has gradually veered towards the blockbuster, and this movie trailer could be a glimpse into what some people are predicting as China’s biggest science fiction hit.
The teaser is for the upcoming film The Wandering Earth, which shares the name with a short-story book by China’s best-selling science fiction author Liu Cixin. Based on one of the stories, the movie is about how scientists concoct a plan to move Earth out of the solar system to avoid being gobbled up by an expanding sun.
With its high-stakes drama and big, Hollywood-style effects, film critics are getting excited over the movie. The Hollywood Reporter billed it as “China’s first full-scale interstellar spectacular” while American technology website The Verge mused if the movie would be the country’s “first breakout science fiction film.”
Based on past attempts by Chinese filmmakers to take on the genre, whether that come trues remains to be seen. Recent big-budget fantasy movies such as The Great Wall garnered mixed reviews despite starring Hollywood actor Matt Damon, while Asura, China’s most expensively-made movie to date, was pulled from local cinemas less than a week after release. Even Liu’s other, more famous book, The “Three-Body Problem,” has been stuck in post-production limbo and plagued with budgeting problems after it was adapted for the big screen in 2015.
Even the success of American sci-fi films in China is hit and miss. Movies such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Blade Runner 2049 have underperformed, while The Martian and Interstellar profited handsomely from mainland audiences.
In the mean time, Bleeding Steel, another big-money Chinese sci-fi thriller starring Jackie Chan, will be out later this year. The Wandering Earth is slated for release in February 2019.