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Expectations for China’s sci-fi industry are high as the first domestic epic is about to hit the big screen

(People's Daily Overseas New Media)    10:54, January 30, 2019

Official poster of The Wandering Earth

The first domestic sci-fi epic, The Wandering Earth, a movie based on a Hugo Award novel, is scheduled to hit the big screen in China during the Spring Festival, amid the nation’s rising curiosity about the universe.

The movie is adapted from a short novel by Liu Cixin, China’s first Huge Award winner—a top honor for international sci-fi writers. The story is set in a doomed future where the Sun is about to explode and tells the story of Chinese astronauts who try to save humanity.

Actually, China produced lots of sci-fi writings and movies since the early 1960s, but it was not until reform and opening-up that Chinese directors and screenwriters began to take advantage of the rapidly changing society.

In 1990, the movie The Ozone Layer Vanishes made many audiences ponder the future of Earth, as it told a story of a toxic gas container that was hijacked, which then threated ozone layer and thus the existence of human beings.

However, many see the upcoming movie The Wandering Earth as a symbol of the real beginning of China’s sci-fi movie development.

“This movie is the start of China’s sci-fi movies,” commented Liu Cixin, adding that the cost of sci-fi movies in China has been relatively low and the movie settings have been relatively simple. The Wandering Earth marks the first major blockbuster sci-fi movie, providing a good start for the development of China’s future sci-fi movies.

Meanwhile, Liu also pointed out that the rise of China’s sci-fi movies came as part of the result of its rising national strength and significant improvement in science and technology.

Specifically, the country’s scientific breakthroughs in space—from the alien-hunting FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope) to the Yutu-2 lunar rover that landed on the far side of the moon for the first time in history—have inspired the public’s curiosity about the universe.

A survey by the China Research Institute of Science Popularization released in September last year showed that most Chinese are getting their science news or knowledge through television and online platforms, reaching 68.5 percent and 64.6 percent, respectively. The proportion of science-literate Chinese citizens has increased to 8.47 percent in 2018, up 2.27 percentage points from three years ago, the Global Times reported.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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