Netflix takes China sci-fi ‘The Wandering Earth’

A poster of Chinese film ‘The Wandering Earth’ is pictured at a cinema in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. (Reuters pic)

SINGAPORE: For now, the year’s highest-grossing movie worldwide – perhaps until “Captain Marvel” releases on March 8 – Chinese sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” is going global courtesy of Netflix.

The story was written by Hugo Award winner Liu Cixin; its Chinese release is behind only “Wolf Warrior 2” as the second highest domestic grosser of all time.

Netflix, which already took military action movie “Wolf Warrior 2” for international online distribution, is doing the same for “The Wandering Earth,” which has so far earned 4 billion yuan (US$600 million) in two weeks.

The film is about mankind’s efforts to avoid an extinction-level event: the sun has begun ballooning in size, swelling by such epic proportions as to swallow up the Earth in the process.

As it happens, the star of “Wolf Warrior 2,” Wu Jing, returns as one of the film’s main characters, and “The Wandering Earth” has made the most of a Chinese New Year release.

Netflix has committed to 28 languages’ worth of translation, bringing “The Wandering Earth” to some 190 countries outside of China, though there’s no date announced for its international online debut.