We argue a lot: David Benioff on collaborating with 'GoT' partner DB Weiss on '3 Body Problem' | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

We argue a lot: David Benioff on collaborating with 'GoT' partner DB Weiss on '3 Body Problem'

Mar 14, 2024 01:52 PM IST

We argue a lot: David Benioff on collaborating with 'GoT' partner DB Weiss on '3 Body Problem'

Joining the equation is Alexander Woo, known for his work on the popular HBO series "True Blood".

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Like "Game of Thrones", adapted from George RR Martin's sweeping fantasy saga, Netflix's "3 Body Problem" is based on Chinese author Liu Cixin's bestselling sci-fi novel series of the same name, which many believed was unfilmable before the trio took on the challenge.

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"Sometimes we all agree and that's easy. Sometimes we disagree, and then we have to argue about it. And for me and Dan, our experience has been that when we disagree on something, one person normally is more passionate about the argument and the person with the most passion wins.

"And when Alex joined us, we just kind of kept doing the same thing. We just split everything up between the three of us," Benioff told PTI in a roundtable interview.

Benioff said while people assume that they easily split up duties while collaborating, reality is "a lot sloppier than that".

"We don't fight that often. But every now and then, if there was a big battle scene, or some big killing on 'Game of Thrones', we both wanted it. Those would be the fights about who will write the last half of the episode," he added.

Behind the scenes, Benioff said they would discuss every little detail before a big death.

"I remember the big one we had was at the very end of season one when Ned Stark is beheaded. And we knew that we wanted to cut out of the scene in the episode right before you see his head fall off, but do you see the blade actually go into the neck or do you see it stop like right before the neck.

"We had this long and boring fight about exactly which frame it should end on. We settled on a frame where you just see the blade starting to enter, so that no one would think that he's actually alive. We wanted people to know that Ned Stark dies here, but we didn't want to show all the blood and spine or any of that stuff."

"3 Body Problem" is described as a thrilling story that redefines sci-fi drama with a complex and layered narrative that spans hundreds and thousands of years. Considered one of the most successful books in the genre, the novel was translated into English in 2012 and became an instant hit. It became the first Asian novel ever to win a Hugo Award for best novel.

In the story, things are set in motion when a young scientist, disillusioned with humanity, decides to contact an alien civilisation during 1960s China. Her decision has reverberations across space and time.

Weiss said there is a lot of darkness in the story, which spans three books, but it also offers an insight into how people learn to overcome problems and work together.

"It is about how people learn from their mistakes and turn themselves around, even if they've made terrible mistakes in their past... We have tried to tell the story by sticking to the characters and their motivations and what they were experiencing and events that were happening in the story rather than try to take a top down approach and say, 'Well, this is indicative of the world we are in right now'."

"3 Body Problem", set to launch on Netflix with its eight-episode first season on March 21, features an ensemble cast of Sea Shimooka, Benedict Wong, Tsai Chin, John Bradley, Eiza Gonzalez, Liam Cunningham, Jess Hong and Jovan Adepo.

Unlike the fantasy genre, Benioff said the science fiction genre has never been his "favourite genre". But he took up "3 Body Problem" as the story is about life and about humanity trying to survive in a very cold and dark universe.

"I wasn't necessarily drawn to it because I know anything about physics or because I care that much about particles colliding with each other. I really fell in love with the human story. That was our biggest motivation, with this television retelling of the story."

Woo, also known for his work on shows such as "Manhattan", "Sleeper Cell", "LAX" and "Wonderfalls", hopes they have delivered a worthy adaptation of the novel series to the fans of the books.

"This is what we did most of the pandemic. David, Dan and I met for the first time at the end of February 2020. And then we didn't see each other in person for another two years. But we saw each other on Zoom every day, and wrestled with all these difficulties and challenges of how to tell a story that spans billions of years.

"No one's ever tried that on television before. How to tell a story with so much science, that no one's tried this before? And I hope we found a way that's enjoyable for the audience," he said.

"3 Body Problem", like "Game of Thrones", is mounted on a massive budget, something Woo believes was necessary due to the sprawling nature of the story.

"The reader of the novel is imagining something of a scale unlike anything they've ever read before. So the viewer of the show has to be treated to an experience that they've never seen before. And that it's going to be a big budget, that's going to cost money. If you're going to actualise all the things that you've been imagining as a reader on a screen, that's a big responsibility to do justice to what Liu Cixin wrote," he said.

Benioff said he hopes to get to the end of the saga through their series.

"If Netflix gives us the number of seasons we need to get to the end, people will care enough about these characters and about their fate," he added.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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