The Three-Body Problem Producer Lin Qi Allegedly Poisoned By a Fellow Film Film Executive

The cover of the Chinese edition of The Three-Body Problem.
The cover of the Chinese edition of The Three-Body Problem.
Screenshot: Chongqing Publishing House

After being stuck in development hell for years, an adaptation of Cixin Liu’s popular Hugo-winning novel The Three-Body Problem had finally found a home on Netflix, with Game of ThronesDavid Benioff and D.B. Weiss attached to write and executive produce. But now the project is facing a different sort of behind-the-scenes drama.


Though production’s not yet begun on the Netflix series, The Three-Body Problem is already being shaped by strange drama following reports that executive producer Lin Qi was allegedly poisoned by one of his colleagues at Yoozoo Group—the Chinese gaming developer that currently owns The Three-Body Problem’s production rights and also happens to be the maker of Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming.

As the Hollywood Reporter notes, on Wednesday, the Shanghai Public Safety Bureau took to its Weibo page with an announcement describing how, after Qi was admitted to the hospital earlier this month, his doctors suspected that he might have been poisoned, prompting an investigation that led to an arrest.

“Following the call, the police began an investigation. According to investigations on site and further interviews, the police found that a suspect surnamed Xu, who is a coworker of the victim Lin, was the most likely the perpetrator,” the post described. “The suspect Xu has been arrested and investigations continue.”

Though the police’s post did not share the suspect’s name in full, the South China Morning Post reports an executive by the name of Yao Xu was recently tapped to oversee Yoozoo’s Three-Body Universe, a unit focused on other projects based on The Three-Body Problem. Though Yoozoo initially planned to produce a both cinematic and gaming adaptations of the story, both failed to materialize, and it was unclear whether The Three-Body Problem would ever make it to screen until earlier this fall when Yoozoo moved to partner with Netflix.

While there’s no word on what might have motivated the crime (THR points to “a dispute among the Chinese entertainment company’s executive ranks” and notes that the unspecified poison was allegedly administered via a cup of tea) reports are that Qi is recovering and in stable condition. There’s also no word on how, or if, these events might affect the future of The Three-Body Problem series.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.


Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.



Making light of a bad situation:

Heh, you you thought the Crunch was the worst thing video game companies could do to employees.