The Future of '3 Body Problem' Remains a Bit Uncertain

Jess Hong as Dr. Jin Cheng

Netflix’s mind-bending science fiction epic 3 Body Problem is based on a bestselling trilogy of novels by Liu Cixin, and from the very first moment the adaptation was announced, fans have been waiting anxiously to find out whether showrunners David Benioff, Dan Weiss and Alexander Woo would be able to bring the full, sweeping story to the screen. Following the success of its first season, Netflix has confirmed that more episodes are on the way—but there’s a lot about the show’s future that remains mysterious. Here’s what we know about Season 2 of 3 Body Problem so far, including who is in the cast.

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Will there be a 3 Body Problem Season 2?

On May 15, 2024, Netflix confirmed that it had renewed 3 Body Problem. Interestingly, though, the announcement didn’t refer to a “Season 2”, and seemed to purposefully avoid specifying how many episodes had been ordered. The press release only stated that the series had been renewed for “additional episodes,” which will ultimately conclude its run.

“We’re thrilled that we get to tell this story through to its epic conclusion,” showrunners Benioff, Weiss and Woo said in a statement, per THR. “Ever since we read the last page of Cixin Liu’s magnificent trilogy, we hoped we’d be able to bring the audience to the end of the universe with us. Here we go!”

In a previous interview with Collider, Benioff indicated that they would need “at least three, maybe four seasons to tell the whole story.” But it’s unclear from this mysterious renewal announcement whether they got their wish.

What is the release date for 3 Body Problem Season 2?

No release date has yet been announced for the additional episodes of 3 Body Problem. But according to THR, the producers have already been working on a Season 2 on the assumption that a renewal was imminent, in order to be able to hit the ground running once it was confirmed.

What book will 3 Body Problem Season 2 follow?

The first season of 3 Body Problem was based on the first in a trilogy of novels by Chinese author Liu Cixin, known as the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy. Netflix purchased the rights to all three books, and Season 2 will presumably follow the second book in the trilogy, titled The Dark Forest. Season 1 largely took its story from the first book, The Three-Body Problem, although it did weave in certain plot points from later books in the series, laying the groundwork for the full trilogy to unfold on screen.

In an interview with THR ahead of the first season’s release, Benioff admitted that he was even more excited about adapting the second book, which is generally acknowledged to be much stronger than the first. “The books just get better for me,” he said. “The second book is far better than the first, and the third book just completely blew my mind. The story just gets more and more ambitious as it goes, and it takes a huge leap in book two. So I feel like if we survive to the second season, we’re going to be in a good place.”

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How did 3 Body Problem Season 1 end?

The Season 1 finale of 3 Body Problem picked up shortly after the death of Ye Wenjie (Rosalind Chao), who was the catalyst for the events of the entire series. Ye was an astrophysics prodigy who grew up deeply disillusioned after losing everything during the Chinese cultural revolution. While working on a top-secret project at a military base, she made a fateful decision to make contact with an alien race despite knowing that they were hostile and technologically advanced. That race, known as the San-Ti, is now moving closer and closer to Earth, and is predicted to arrive in 400 years’ time.

In the finale, Saul (Jovan Adepo) narrowly avoids an assassination attempt from the San-Ti, and is then recruited against his will to be one of three “Wallfacers”—individuals handpicked by the UN to lead Earth’s defense effort against the aliens. After trying in vain to get out of this assignment, Saul is told that he was chosen for a reason, and that he’ll learn it when the time is right.

Meanwhile, Jin Cheng’s (Jess Hong) Project Staircase puts its first mission into action, launching a probe into space carrying the cryogenically frozen brain of Will Downing (Alex Sharp)—but the probe goes disastrously off course, thwarting their carefully orchestrated plan. The season ends on a mournful note, with both Jin and Saul despondent over their situations. However, Clarence Shi (Benedict Wong) does his best to cheer them up by taking them to see a swarm of cicadas, pointing out that these bugs have survived for decades despite humanity's best efforts to eradicate them. Now, it’s humanity’s turn to show the same resilience.

Who is cast in 3 Body Problem Season 2?

Netflix hasn’t yet confirmed exactly which cast members will return for season 2. However, it’s a pretty safe bet that the following series regulars will be back:

Jovan Adepo as Dr. Saul Durand

Adepo will return as Saul, the slacker of the Oxford Five whose potential is finally tapped when he’s presented with the challenge of an alien invasion. His new role as a reluctant Wallfacer effectively puts him on the front lines of the fight in season two.

Eiza González as Dr. Augustina "Auggie" Salazar

González will reprise her role as Auggie, a member of the Oxford Five whose nanotech innovations play a major role in the story.

“Auggie's arc is really intense in season one,” Gonzalez reflected in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “She’s not necessarily meant to be likable… Auggie is just at a very interesting breaking point when we meet her in season one.” She went on to offer a hint of what’s to come for her character in Season 2, continuing: “We leave her behind at the end of Season 1, technically. So we don't know where she's going to be next, physically and emotionally, and that's pretty exciting as an actress."

Jess Hong as Dr. Jin Cheng

Hong will be back as Jin, another member of the Oxford Five, a genius astrophysicist who is also the driving force behind the Staircase Project.

“I really hope that we get a Season 2,” Hong told Elle in an interview for the first season, “because Jin Cheng is one of the coolest, juiciest characters I’ve ever played. But also I’ve read the books, so I know what’s coming. It would be awesome to have to justify those decisions and enter those worlds.”

Liam Cunningham as Thomas Wade

Cunningham will once again play Wade, the charismatic leader of Earth’s most elite intelligence organization. Wade had a terrifying encounter with Sophon—essentially an AI robot acting as the San Ti’s voice on Earth—in the Season 1 finale.

Benedict Wong as Clarence Shi

Based on the character of Shi Qiang, a.k.a. Da Shi, in the book, Clarence is a gruff police detective and intelligence officer who becomes entangled with the Oxford Five as he investigates the mysterious deaths of numerous scientists.

Marlo Kelly as Tatiana Haas

Tatiana is a composite of several characters from the book, and a key player in the Earth-Trisolaris Organization (ETO), the San-Ti worshipping cult co-founded by Ye Wenjie and Mike Evans.

Who from the cast will not return for 3 Body Problem Season 2?

Season 1’s body count (no pun intended) was substantial, so there are a few cast members who likely won’t be returning as series regulars, though that’s not to say they can’t show up at all. Among those who won’t be returning in main roles are:

Alex Sharp as Will Downing

Will reveals early in Season 1 that he has terminal pancreatic cancer, and ultimately makes the decision to die by euthanasia. But his role in the fight is only just beginning—before he dies, Will volunteers to have his brain cryogenically frozen, placed into a probe and fired into space, playing a crucial role in the Staircase Project’s efforts to fight off the San-Ti. As of the end of Season 1, Will is dead and his brain is lost in the deepest reaches of space.

Rosalind Chao & Zine Tseng as Ye Wenjie

It was Ye Wenjie’s fateful decision to contact the San-Ti that sets the events of 3 Body Problem into motion. Despite having spent years running a cult that worships the San-Ti, Ye Wenjie is double-crossed by the alien race, and murdered by Tatiana (Marlo Kelly).

How many episodes are in 3 Body Problem Season 2?

Netflix hasn’t yet confirmed how many “additional episodes” of 3 Body Problem it has ordered.

How to watch 3 Body Problem Season 2

Whenever more episodes of 3 Body Problem debut, they’ll be available exclusively on Netflix.

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