When you think of large-scale science-fiction “blockbuster” type movies, the Unites State film market is the clear dominating creative force, followed by several other countries to much lesser degrees. British films come to mind (as do their long-running sci-fi TV counterparts like ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Red Dwarf’), and in recent decades the Russian film scene has come up with some rather, shall we say, unique and over-the-top ideas for genre films. But China, as large as their film and entertainment production work is, has never been a major player in the blockbuster sci-fi film arena.
That may be changing soon, with the impending global release of ‘The Wandering Earth,’ a sprawling science-fiction epic with a large budget and an impressive handful of trailers so far. The central conceit of the film, based on a 2005 short story by Chinese author Cixin Liu, is impressive in its out-there sci-fi scale: scientists make the discovery that the Sun will soon turn into a red giant and swallow the solar system in its expansion, so an ambitious plan is launched to install gigantic engines into the Earth’s core to adjust her rotation, launch the planet out of the solar system, and head towards the star Proxima Centauri where (hopefully) a new “home system” can be safely established.
The above synopsis gives me shades of ‘Armageddon’ mixed with ‘Space: 1999’ and, honestly, I don’t hate it. I hope to see the film myself soon to judge for myself – and if I do, expect a review here on ScienceFiction.com so you all can be informed as well!
In a recent interview, Chinese science fiction author and screenwriter Anna Wu had this to say about the new film and the state of sci-fi entertainment in China in general:
“[Science fiction] is a new challenge for the Chinese film industry. … There is a growing acceptance of science fiction… [people today are] getting busier, wealthier and more stressed [which makes them want for escapist entertainment]. … Everyone is looking forward to [‘The Wandering Earth]. … I am also very concerned about the box office earnings, which will affect the investment situation of [future] Chinese science fiction films.”
Take a peek at the new trailer below, and let us know what you think in the comment section below!
‘The Wandering Earth’ is opening in the US market in select AMC theaters on February 8, 2019.