• The award-winning "Three-Body Problem" is a Liu Cixin magnum opus.

The award-winning "Three-Body Problem" is a Liu Cixin magnum opus. (Photo : Wikimedia)

The film adaptation of the best-selling Chinese science fiction novel "The Three-Body Problem" has finished shooting, as announced by the producers of the film on Wednesday.

Directed by Zhang Panpan and starring Zhang Jingchu and Feng Shaofeng, the film is based on the first book of the Nebula-nominated "Remembrance of Earth's Past" trilogy by Liu Cixin, which Chinese readers generally refer to by the title of the first book.

Like Us on Facebook

It tells the story of a young physicist, Ye Wenjie, who contacts the Trisolaran civilization that lives in a three-sun system. The three books of the series portray centuries of conflicts between aliens and the people of Earth that resulted from Ye's contact.

According to Yoozoo Pictures, 200 million yuan ($23 million) has been invested into the film. This marks the largest investment in post-production visual effects for a Chinese film.

The film is scheduled for release in July 2016.

Since plans to make the movie were announced last year, critics have said that China's film industry is not yet ready for a special effects-driven sci-fi blockbuster.

However, sci-fi writers, including Liu, are supporting the film, citing that China's film industry must explore sci-fi with China's own stories.

Liu, who is also one of the film's executive producers, said that "everything needs a start."

"American sci-fi movies took off with Spielberg and Lucas, who were neither mainstream nor household-name directors back in the 1980s," he added.

In the past, sci-fi movies have had a lot of success in China's box office, proven by Hollywood films like "Interstellar" and "Transformers." However, Chinese sci-fi films have long been lacking in the market.

Chinese industry observers hope that "The Three-Body Problem" would be the first landmark in Chinese sci-fi films, especially considering the popularity of the series of books.

The trilogy has sold over one million copies in China. In 2014, the first book was translated into English and was released in the United States, followed by the translation of the other two books.

The first book was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel, but lost to "Annihilation" by Jeff VanderMeer. The Nebula Awards celebrates the best sci-fi and fantasy works, and the award for Best Novel has been won by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Isaac Asimov and Orson Scott Card.